The Jefferson County Coroner has identified the court employee who shot himself Thursday morning inside the federal courthouse in downtown Birmingham.
David Lee Williams, 50, carried a gun inside a clerk's office on the first floor of the courthouse where he shot himself, according to Birmingham Police Sgt. Johnny Williams.
Williams was transported to a local hospital where he died a short time later.
Police and first responders from Birmingham Fire and Rescue were dispatched shortly after 9 a.m. to the courthouse in the 1700 block of 5th Avenue North.
"I sat down and prayed that nobody would get killed," Peter Montgomery told FOX6 News.
Montgomery, a witness inside the courthouse, told FOX6 News reporter Alan
Collins he heard a gunshot from inside a clerk's office on the first floor.
Moments later, he saw an elderly man with blood pouring from his head.
Montgomery said security quickly arrived and told everyone to stay down.
Agents from the FBI and the U.S. Marshals office arrived at the building around 9:30 to help Birmingham Police investigate the shooting, including how the man got the gun inside the building.
Authorities tell FOX6 News that the Hugo L. Black Courthouse, like most
federal buildings, require everyone who enters to go through metal detectors.
Visitors are prohibited from carrying a weapon into the building.
Former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones told FOX6 News security may not be as strict for employees. Jones says he believes that will change as a result of this incident.
The investigation of this shooting will be conducted by the Birmingham police, the FBI and the U.S. Marshal's office. Sgt. Williams says the investigation will look at the security procedures of the courthouse and will see if they were followed or not.
Follow FOX6 News on Twitter @myfoxal for instant updates on this developing story.
Copyright 2012 WBRC. All rights reserved.
1720 Valley View Drive