Witness to courtroom shooting describes chaotic scene

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Total chaos erupted inside the juvenile courthouse when a single gunshot took the life of 16-year-old Joseph Haynes, Wednesday.

Constance Gadell-Newton was there as it happened. “It just sounded like one sharp bang,” says Gadell-Newton.

She says she heard screams. “It was really hard to actually see what was going on. What I could see and hear was a lot of people yelling; a lot of people upset.” 

According to Gadell-Newton, it all started when Haynes heard someone address him. “There was an attorney who said something to him, and said if he didn’t straighten up that he would go to jail. That is something often said to kids at court.”

“He didn’t know who said that comment to him and he said ‘Who said that?'” Gadell-Newton recalls.

She says there was then an exchange between the deputy and the Haynes family.

After that a police officer tried to wrestle the young man to the ground.

“Then I heard a single gunshot,” says Gadell-Newton. “It was part disbelief and shock. It was hard to believe that something like that could happen in juvenile court.”

Crews took Haynes to the hospital where he later died.

“My condolences go out to the family. This is something that has impacted their family so severely. They walked in the courtroom as a family and left without their son,” says Gadell-Newton.


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