A deputy sheriff shot and critically wounded a defendant yesterday in Phildelphia’s Criminal Justice Center after the man tried to attack the judge during a sentencing. The Philadelphia Inquirer says that pandemonium broke out in Courtroom 1102 as Shawn Frazier, 24, went after Common Pleas Court Judge Gary S. Glazer.
During a struggle, Deputy Sheriff Thomas E. Clark fired a shot from his Glock semiautomatic, hitting Frazier in the back. It was the fourth security-related incident started by a defendant at the Criminal Justice Center since Feb. 3, when a prisoner attempted to escape through a ceiling above a holding room. Sheriff John D. Green will reexamine staffing to determine whether more than one deputy sheriff is needed per prisoner in a courtroom. Frazier was not wearing handcuffs.
Frazier was being sentenced to two to four years for violation of parole and for testing positive for drugs. A police official said that after the sentence was announced, Frazier “became very disturbed, said he didn’t want to leave his family, he couldn’t serve the sentence, started yelling, waving his hands in the air…The next thing you know, he knocks the table over in front of him and apparently heads right toward the judge’s bench.”
Glazer was moving through a door to his chambers after hitting an emergency alarm button. Frazier, who stands 6 feet, 3 inches tall and weighs 285 pounds, headed toward the door and tried to open it. He was shot at close range.