GULFPORT, Miss. – A man, who police say had just been convicted of a firearm felony in Harrison County Circuit Court, jumped over chairs in the courtroom and tried to escape Wednesday.
Investigators said Willie Ed Smith Jr. took advantage of the distraction created by a bomb threat alarm going off to try to get away. A security officer used a stun gun to stop him.
The courthouse was evacuated for just over an hour while Gulfport police and firefighters checked the building. No explosives were found. Investigators said it was not immediately clear if the bomb threat, which was called to the Chancery Clerk’s office, was connected to Smith’s trial. His attempted escape has delayed his sentencing.