Jackson County Sheriff Chuck Phillips released the identity of the man involved in the courthouse shooting Wednesday.

Phillips said Fred Swearengin, 72 of the Letcher community, remains in a hospital after being shot by courthouse security.

“I know he was in surgery,” said Phillips. “I’m not sure about his status other than that.”

At 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Swearengin walked into the Jackson County Courthouse armed with a handgun on his side. After being refused entry by courthouse security deputies, Phillips said Swearengin drew his weapon and was shot.

Phillips said on Thursday that four fully loaded magazines of ammunition was located on Swearengin.

“We don’t know what his plans were,” said Phillips. “But we didn’t let him get in the courthouse to fulfill his plans.”

Phillips said the deputies involved in the shooting are on paid administrative leave and could return to work next week.

Phillips added that Wednesday’s incident was proof why deputies need to be used for courthouse security. Earlier this year, there had been discussion about contracting security with private services.

“The security committee will meet soon to discuss this incident and review measures in place,” said Phillips.

Phillips said charges against Swearengin will be pursued at some point.

“Anyone who witnessed the incident, we urge to contact the sheriff’s office at 256-574-2610,” said Phillips.

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