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July 12, 2006
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Inmate killed in struggle after shooting N.C. deputy

The Associated Press

Editor’s Note: A P1 member has brought to our attention that it was not a deputy who was shot, as the Associated Press originally reported, but a correctional officer with the N.C. Department of Corrections. According to a report from, Willie Forrest pulled the handgun from the holster of prison guard Christopher Hicks and began firing at the courtroom, hitting Hicks twice in the shoulder. As stated in the original report, it was a Northampton County Sheriff's deputy who then shot Forrest, killing him.


From Inmate killed after stealing guard’s gun

Willie Forrest. (AP Photo/North Carolina Department of Correction)

JACKSON, North Carolina- An inmate grabbed a deputy's gun inside a courthouse Wednesday and shot him, then was killed as he struggled with other law enforcement officers.

Willie Forrest grabbed the officer's weapon and shot him in the arm around 9:20 a.m., said Karen Cole, a dispatcher with the Northampton County Sheriff's office.

As a second officer struggled with him, Forrest fired another shot into the air. A third officer shot and killed him, Cole said. The wounded sheriff's deputy was in good condition, authorities said.

Forrest, 37, was serving 56 years in prison for convictions on attempted murder and other crimes. He was being transferred from Jackson to a prison in Raleigh at the time of the shooting, according to WRAL-TV in Raleigh.

The State Bureau of Investigation was investigating.

Forrest was convicted of attempted murder, kidnapping, assault on an officer and habitual assault in 2003. He had several previous convictions for assault, armed robbery, embezzlement and receiving stolen goods.

After his kidnapping conviction, Forrest attacked his lawyer in a courtroom. Five deputies were needed to pull Forrest off of attorney George Hughes, who suffered a skull fracture and other injuries.

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