Curtis Smith, a 34-year-old man from Coatesville, Pennsylvania, was shot dead inside the lobby of a Philadelphia-area courthouse on Tuesday. According to USA Today, Smith is the same individual who was arrested earlier this year when he attempted to scale a stone wall at the southeast corner of the White House. Initial reports add that Curtis was shot dead by a deputy after he attempted to slash another deputy using a knife.
The shocking incident happened at around 11 a.m. local time inside the lobby of the Chester County Justice Center in West Chester, Pennsylvania. The news has also been confirmed by District Attorney Thomas Hogan in a news conference, NBC Philadelphia reports. The identity of the deputy that was attacked has not been revealed. He reportedly received a cut on his left hand and arm. The extent of his injuries remain unclear, and at the time of filing this story, he was undergoing treatment at the Paoli Hospital and has been listed in stable condition.
According to District Attorney Tom Hogan,
“Curtis Smith, from Coatesville, came directly into the justice center and pulled out a knife and attacked a deputy sheriff, slashing him.”
The attorney for Curtis Smith, Lewis Hannah III, who represented Smith in a domestic violence case, termed his client’s death “really tragic.” He also revealed that Smith was a truck driver while adding that “[h]e worked every day, had a family, a wife, you know, you would have never have thought.”
Smith, who was shot just when he attacked the other deputy, was also transported to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. It has not been ascertained how many times Curtis Smith was shot by the defending deputy. There is also no information regarding the circumstances that led to the knife attack and the subsequent use of lethal force. Following the lethal shooting, the courtroom premises remained in s state of lockdown for over two hours. After that, it remained closed for the rest of the day. Inside the courtroom, however, trials and normal court proceedings were only temporarily affected.
As already mentioned earlier, this is not the first time that Smith has been in the news for the wrong reasons. Back in March he had earned the term of a White House fence jumper when he was arrested after attempting to scale a stone wall situated on the southeast part of the White House. Back then, he claimed all he wanted to do was to simply “pass a message to the President.” He was arrested soon and did not offer any form of resistance. Later in April, Martin was ordered to stay away from the White House and was asked to report to local authorities by phone on a weekly basis. The case was still ongoing and a hearing was due for October as well.
[Image HEAVY via ABC Philadelphia]