Armed Man Strikes Fear At Courthouse

Tuesday, March 6th 2007, 11:04 am
By: News On 6

An incident involving a gun-toting man prompts authorities to call for more security at the Muskogee County Courthouse. 28-year-old Kory Williams was arrested Monday after Muskogee Police say he threatened employees in the District Attorney's office, fled the courthouse, then shot at several people with a sawed-off shotgun. Police say Williams was able to walk into the courthouse because there are no metal detectors or surveillance cameras.

The News on 6’s Chris Wright reports that may not be the case for long though, there are now plans to beef up security.

Witnesses say an irate Kory Williams stormed into the Muskogee County District Attorney's office Monday morning. "It terrified all the staff up front. He walked in, it was pretty apparent to me when he came in by his actions that he was armed," Muskogee County Assistant District Attorney James Walters said.

After the Muskogee County Sheriff's Office was alerted, police say Walters took off and made his way to a nearby house. Police say he fired his shotgun at Michael Edwards there, but missed. He fired a second shot through the door at Stacey Edwards before witnesses say he fled again.

"A little spooky, someone running down the street carrying the gun, little spooky, didn't know what to do," said one witness.

Police caught up with Williams and arrested him, but the Sheriff's Office says the incident is a perfect example of why the courthouse needs more security.

"There's always a need for more security, but to physically put those things in place, you're talking about finances, and that's where we fall short," Undersheriff Randall Perryman said.

A recent Homeland Security grant will improve the county's finances some. That money will go towards video surveillance cameras, which will be installed in hallways in the next two weeks. The Muskogee County Sheriff's Office says installing those cameras will go a long way to improving security, but until they install metal detectors and have someone at the door, people will still be able to come and go as they please. DA employees, still shaken by Monday's incident, say those extra security measures can't come soon enough.

"We think it's crucial for the protection of this staff and office, to secure this office somehow," said Walters.

A half cent sales tax increase is on the ballot in Muskogee County this July. If approved, some of that money would be used to purchase metal detectors and X-ray machines for the courthouse.