(COLORADO SPRINGS) — For those inside the El Paso County Courthouse on Thursday morning, Nov. 16, they had no idea what was about to unfold that day.
“I was in the courtroom where they were going through cases, just like a normal day,” Kaid Elhha said. “Then all of [the] sudden they went and locked all of the courtroom doors, and let us know that there was an unsafe situation outside and possibly a shooter.”
After locking the doors, Elhha said the court continued with proceedings but would eventually close down for the day.
“They eventually did stop taking court cases, telling us we’re all just going to stop and wait until it was safe enough to go downstairs and evacuate,” Elhha said. “And then eventually they continued the court cases and I was the last person in court.”
Others inside the courthouse, like Debbie Lucero and her granddaughter Audriana Tinsley, described the scene as frightening. “Officers just told us to stay in place until they could escort us out,” Lucero said. “Later on, we did find out it was a [shooter].”
Tinsley who is 16 years old described the situation as scary, and added “Especially nowadays, just more active shootings are happening. Everybody’s getting more guns and it just seems like a normal thing now.”
Another individual inside of the courthouse was Jessica Scott who shared they were in lockdown for around 30 minutes and didn’t know where the shooter’s location was. “We were frightened because that’s the only information that we had,” Scott said. “We didn’t know if [the shooter] was in the courthouse or outside.”
Due to the location of the courthouse being across the street from the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, Elhha described that he felt safe knowing law enforcement was near.
“I knew that there was plenty of resources, especially at the courthouse,” Elhha said. “So, I knew I was safe, as safe as I could be.”
Information on the investigation and the press conference held Thursday with the Colorado Springs Police Department can be found at the link above.
The El Paso County Courthouse is closed for the remainder of the day and anyone with a court appearances scheduled for Thursday can call (719) 452- 5000 to reschedule appearances.