According to a police union spokesman, an as yet unnamed deputy was "viciously attacked" by a 16-year-old white boy and his family in a courthouse after a hearing on Wednesday. Joseph “Joey” Haynes was in domestic relations courtroom in Columbus and was shot to death by a single bullet, allegedly after members of the Haynes family scuffled with Franklin County Sheriff’s deputy.

The teenage Haynes was being heard in court on a charge of menacing with a firearm, and  about the court-ordered electronic monitoring device he had been assigned earlier in the case, according to the Franklin County Sheriff's Office. "At some point as the hearing was concluding there was an altercation that ensued involving the deputy and some of the family members," Franklin County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Rick Minerd told the media. 

Keith Ferrell, executive vice president of the local Fraternal Order of Police lodge, defended the officer, saying "he had no choice." Ferrell told the media on Thursday, "This was a fight for (the deputy's) life at some point."

The police union spokesman, who is representing the deputy involved in the shooting, disputed media reports of a “scuffle.” He contends that the officer was attacked. “He responded, came in there and was violently attacked by multiple people,” the spokesman said at a news conference. With reference to the deputy’s injuries, the spokesman added, “What was very clear to me in my experience is that he was attacked and this was a fight for his life at some point. He was assaulted.” 

Haynes’ attorney, Jennifer Brisco, told The Columbus Dispatch said that a scuffle broke out when the officer threatened to arrest her client. "Joseph was a little out of sorts because of how things went at the hearing," Brisco told the newspaper. "The officer threatened to lock him up and a scuffle broke out," she added. "Joseph was resisting, and that's when there was a scuffle,” she said.

Geraldine, Haynes’ grandmother, told FOX28 Columbus that Haynes’ mother and the deputy were arguing. Authorities claim that the deputy was knocked to the ground and was “under attack.” However, Geraldine said, "There was no reason why that cop would have been terrified of Joey." In her account, she said, "Joey went over, grabbed him by his shoulders and the guy slung him around and slung Joey to the ground. And then he got on top of Joey. And then Joey's hands were up in the air like that and the cop with his hand down by his side and the gun went off. He pulled the trigger on my grandson."

Haynes took a bullet to his abdominal area. Within 30 minutes, he was dead at a local hospital. The deputy was also hospitalized for his injuries. However, he was not shot. He suffered a black eye and abrasions after he was knocked to the ground, Minerd said. 

Haynes had a record of criminal behavior, including charges of assault and carrying a concealed weapon.

Grandmother Geraldine claimed that Joseph was trying to amend his behavior. “He was trying to get his life together. Now he won’t have a chance,” she said.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is now involved in investigating the incident. 

The Haynes family is currently raising funds for funeral expenses.

The aggravated menacing charge against Haynes stems from an incident in November 2017, when he pointed a handgun (which belonged to his mother) at two people and threatened to shoot them. In the past, Haynes had been labelled a juvenile delinquent and was on probation. Haynes had been forced to wear an electric monitoring bracelet, which arose from an incident when Haynes was found “with a concealed weapon.” In 2016, Haynes was arrested for choking his mother in a domestic dispute. However, his mother dropped those charges.

Haynes' friends and associates have mourned him in Facebook posts. Clay Severance wrote, “Damn blood we just just talkin about staying safe being good and s*** and now you’re gone and not s*** we can say or do to change it smh. F*** 12 period no business shootin lil bro. Fly high brotha.” Haynes was known as Joey Fuzz. Daisy Senters, who has been described as a girlfriend, wrote, “Rip to my husband.” Melissa Francis wrote, “R.I.P Joey Fuzz, so heartbreaking to hear this known that boy since he was in his momma’s belly!” While Markus Gilmer wrote, “Pray for Joey Fuzz mother and family f*** the police! Love you Lil bro rip first Reese now you bro something gotta shake.” 


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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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