Three Dead After Atlanta Courthouse Massacre

There was a lockdown in downtown Atlanta during an all-day search for a murderer. The suspect was 33-year-old Brian Nichols.

Myron Freeman, Fulton County Sheriff, said, "Mr. Nichols is considered armed and dangerous and should not be approached."

The manhunt began around 9 a.m. when the suspect on trial for rape allegedly grabbed a deputy's gun and opened fire. Dead are the trial judge, Rowland Barnes, his court reporter, and a deputy. A second deputy was wounded.

Dr. Jeffrey Salomone, a trauma surgeon, says, "She is in critical condition but expected to survive."

Witnesses describe pandemonium.

Renee Rockwell says, "They were screaming 'sit down, get on the ground' and they put me on the elevator!"

The gunman allegedly ran from the courthouse, carjacking a newspaper reporter who was slightly injured. Police are looking for a green Honda Accord downtown and on the highways.

Alan Dreher, Assistant Police Chief, says, "We've got all the latest investigative tools at our disposable, the latest technology, all the partners, federal, state and local."

At the courthouse, judges were held in their chambers. Around the area, 30 schools and other buildings were immediately placed on lockdown.


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