Meridian, MS – A manhunt is underway for the gunman who shot a Lauderdale County judge in the courthouse parking lot on Monday morning.
According to Meridian Police Lieutenant Rita Jack, Lauderdale County Chancery Court Judge Charles Smith was shot once in the lower abdomen as he was standing outside his pickup truck in a parking lot east of the courthouse shortly after 7 a.m., The Meridian Star reported.
The shooter fled the scene prior to officers’ arrival.
Investigators have no description of the gunman or a potential suspect vehicle.
Police believe the shooter fired just one round.
Smith was rushed to a local hospital in critical condition, according to Lt. Jack.
He has since gone through surgery, and is expected to be transferred to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Chancery Court Judge Larry Primeaux told The Meridian Star.
Police have cordoned off 20th Avenue between 4th Street and 5th Street.
The weapon has not been found.
Investigators are reviewing security footage to gather more information about the gunman, The Meridian Star reported.
Smith is a Chancellor for the 12th Chancery District of Mississippi, which covers Lauderdale and Clarke Counties.
He is also a family court judge.
According to the State of Mississippi Judiciary, Smith served as a youth court prosecutor from 1983 through 2014, The Meridian Star reported.
The went on to serve over three years as a prosecutor in Lauderdale County before he took the bench in January of 2019, according to the paper.