Monroe County Courthouse Shooting

By: Jim Freeman
By: Jim Freeman

Madisonville (WVLT) -- There were some tense moments this afternoon in and around the Monroe County courthouse as a suspect ran from authorities.

Authorities say Tristan Frazier, 20, escaped from deputies with one of them firing shots.

This all happening in front of other people inside the courthouse.

Frazier's run to freedom stirred up a lot of emotion at the Monroe County courthouse as it was put on lockdown this morning.

Everyone was caught off guard on what was pretty much a typical day in Judge Amy Reedy's courtroom.

"I kind of jumped up because we had a child down here running escort for BACA today," said Carl Shaw, a witness. "We were worried about her."

Shaw was inside the courtroom, but Max Gibson wasn't.

"I was in the hall when all of it was taking place," said Gibson. "When I heard the gunshot I turned and went back in the courtroom."

Court officer James Haseltine and his partner were working criminal court as usual.

"But in this event we had two court officers there doing what they were supposed to," said Bryan Graves, Chief Deputy at the Monroe County Sheriff's Department. "They got attacked and kind of taken by surprise."

They were taken by surprise when the former high school football running back turned into an escapee.

Tristan Frazier broke free while he was hand cuffed.

He stepped back, pushed a guard and cut straight out the door.

Frazier's timing wasn't the best as the courthouse was full of bikers and lots of willing officers that were called into action.

"One of our fellows ran out after him and showed the police where he was," Shaw said. "The officer ran after him of course, hollered at him twice and then there was a gunshot."

Haseltine fired the one gunshot and it lodged in the floor.

Thanks to a lot of help and hustle Frazier was on the loose for only about 45 minutes and back in custody by lunchtime.

Monroe's County's courthouse is 110 years old this year, and it's getting some upgrades.

"We're currently in the process of upgrading courtroom security," Graves said. "It's an ever evolving thing."

Upgrades that may help anyone else from getting caught off guard on court day.

After quite a wild day in Madisonville, we've learned that officer Haseltine's going to be ok.

But until the investigation concludes he's on paid leave.

Tristan Frazier is in jail tonight with additional charges of escape, evading arrest, and assault on an officer.


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