An intense video was released by the Illinois State Police showing an unpredictable situation at a courthouse that could have turned deadly at a moment's notice.
Fredrick Goss – a 55-year-old inmate – was at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Mt. Vernon, Illinois, on the afternoon of Oct. 25. He was being transported to the courtroom for a jury trial. While in the sally port – the secure entryway into the courthouse – Goss put up a fight and was able to disarm the correctional officer who was escorting him.
A Jefferson County Sheriff's Office correctional officer removed the handcuffs from Goss so that he could exit the police cruiser and put himself in a wheelchair. When the officer attempted to help Goss move his legs onto the footplates of the wheelchair, the criminal lunged and snatched the officer's firearm from the holster.
Surveillance video shows a tussle ensued as both men fell to the ground. The officer attempted to regain possession of the gun, and during the struggle a round was fired. The inmate was able to spring free and then pointed the gun at the officer – who then surrendered.
Another correctional officer scurried into the sally port, quickly face-to-face with an armed inmate. The officer retreated back into a room, then reappeared with his handgun aimed at the perpetrator. The inmate fell because of his previous leg injury. Simultaneously the cop on the ground grabbed the gun from the inmate as the other officer fired on Goss. The inmate lost control of the gun and it flew to the other side of the garage.
Goss put his hands up in defeat as he winced in pain from being shot.
Goss was transported to an area hospital, then later transferred to a St. Louis-area hospital for treatment of his injuries.
The Illinois State Police Division of Criminal Investigation launched a probe into the shooting incident, which is also under review by the Jefferson County State's Attorney Office.
In June, Goss was charged with armed robbery and aggravated discharge of a firearm in Mt. Vernon, KFVS-TV reported. Goss was suspected of a robbery of a Mt. Vernon gas station. When a police officer approached the suspect, Goss fled.
During the chase, police say gunfire was exchanged between the officer and Goss. In that confrontation, Goss was also shot. He was taken to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The officer was not hurt.