WEST CHESTER, Pa. (AP) — A man fatally shot Tuesday after attacking a deputy sheriff at a suburban Philadelphia courthouse was arrested in March for climbing a perimeter wall at the White House, a prosecutor said.
A second deputy shot Curtis Smith, 34, after he pulled a knife and slashed the deputy in the arm and hand around 11:50 a.m. at the Chester County Justice Center, District Attorney Thomas Hogan said.
“I’m gonna get ya! I’m gonna get ya!” Smith yelled as he entered the building, according to witness Reiley Aikman.
Hogan confirmed Smith’s White House arrest in a statement late Tuesday afternoon. He said a motive for the courthouse attack wasn’t immediately clear.
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Smith’s lawyer in the White House case said they didn’t discuss mental health history but that he seemed reasonable.
“He appeared like he was all there,” lawyer Martin Rosendorf said. “He appeared sane.”
Smith was pronounced dead at a hospital. The injured deputy was airlifted to a hospital in stable condition. His colleague was being interviewed by investigators.
The building in West Chester, about 23 miles west of downtown Philadelphia, was put on lockdown and closed to the public for the rest of the day.
No other injuries were reported.
“Unfortunately, because of incidents like this across the nation, we have learned how to deal with an attack at the courthouse,” Hogan told reporters. “No one else was injured. The sheriffs did their job.”
In Washington, Smith, of Coatesville, Pennsylvania, was charged with unlawful entry after authorities say he climbed over the top of a stone wall at a vehicle entrance on March 1, despite signs saying it was a restricted area for people with passes and appointment.
Smith immediately surrendered and, according to court documents, told an officer he went to the White House to pass a message to President Barack Obama.
Smith entered into a deferred prosecution agreement requiring him to stay away from the White House complex for six months. The case was to be dismissed in October if he complied with court orders and avoided arrest.