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Mississippi judge shot, critically wounded near courthouse

A judge has been shot and critically wounded outside a courthouse in Mississippi, police said.

Chancery Judge Charlie Smith was shot Monday morning in the parking lot outside the Lauderdale County Courthouse in downtown Meridian, WTOK-TV reported.

Smith was getting out of truck to go inside the courthouse when the gunfire happened, Meridian Police Lt. Rita Jack said.

Investigators had no immediate suspect or description of a vehicle which might have been involved, Jack told The Meridian Star. Police planned to review surveillance video of the area, the newspaper reported.

The judge was taken to a hospital in critical condition with a gunshot wound near his abdomen. Police believe one shot was fired, Jack said.

At a meeting later Monday, Chancery Judge Larry Primeaux said Smith had emerged from surgery and was expected to be transferred to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.

Smith’s district includes Lauderdale and Clarke counties. Among subjects that chancery judges in Mississippi handle are divorces, child custody cases, adoptions and guardianships.

Smith became a judge in January 2019 after more than 20 years as a youth court and county court prosecutor.

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