FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ohio — Authorities have identified a teenager fatally shot by a deputy in an Ohio courtroom as 16-year-old Joseph Haynes.
Haynes, whose grandmother told CNN affiliate WSYX he was trying to turn his life around, was killed during a hearing in a juvenile courtroom in Columbus on Wednesday, Chief Deputy Rick Minerd of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department said in a news conference.
The teenager was attending a hearing on a menacing with a gun charge when his family members and a deputy got into an altercation, Minerd said. At some point, the deputy was knocked to the ground and fired a single gunshot, hitting Haynes in the abdomen.
Haynes was taken to a hospital about a mile away, where he died. The deputy was taken to a separate hospital with unspecified but non-life-threatening injuries, Minerd said. The deputy was the only law enforcement officer in the courtroom.
The sheriff’s office said it would reveal more details about the case on Thursday, but hadn’t shared any information by the afternoon.
An attorney for Haynes, Jennifer Brisco, declined to comment.
Geraldine Haynes, the teen’s grandmother, told the Columbus Dispatch the struggle began after the deputy pushed Haynes’ mother against a wall when attempting to escort her out of the courtroom. That’s when Haynes grabbed the deputy, she said.
“Joey went over, grabbed him by his shoulders and the guy slung him around and slung Joey to the ground,” Geraldine Haynes told WSYX. “And then he got on top of Joey … and then Joey’s hands were up in the air like that and the cop with his hand down by his side and the gun went off.”
CNN is still working to independently verify what occurred in the courtroom and has been unable to reach the Haynes family for comment.
“He pulled the trigger on my grandson,” Geraldine Haynes said through tears. “He was trying to get his life together, now he won’t have a chance.”