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Inmate involved in courthouse shooting

JACKSON – While details remain sketchy, it appears that an inmate making an appearance in Northampton County Superior Court here this morning (Wednesday) has been shot and killed.

Willie Forrest III was scheduled to be heard concerning his request to change the court-appointed attorney handling his case, one that involves Forrest being charged with first-degree murder in the September, 2002 shooting death of a Garysburg convenience store owner.

While in the courtroom, Forrest allegedly was able to remove the sidearm of a law enforcement officer and then fired at least one shot, allegedly striking a Department of Corrections officer in the shoulder.

Although unconfirmed at this time, a Northampton County official informed the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald that a Northampton deputy assigned to the courtroom drew his weapon and shot and killed Forrest.

Forrest was charged in the Sept. 24, 2002 murder of John Hicks, owner of a Garysburg convenience store. He was arrested Oct. 9, 2002 in Raleigh where he attempted to escape by holding his aunt at knifepoint.

Complete details concerning Wednesday’s shooting at the courthouse will be published in Thursday’s edition of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald.