MT. VERNON, IL — Illinois State Police is investigating an officer-involved shooting Tuesday afternoon at the Jefferson County Courthouse.
According to preliminary information from the Illinois State Police in charge of the investigation, a Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office correctional officer was transporting Fredrick Goss, a 55-year-old male inmate, to the courtroom for a jury trial. While in the sally port of the courthouse, Goss was unhandcuffed by the correctional officer, as Goss was not to appear before the jury in restraints. After the handcuffs were removed, Goss was transferred from the transport vehicle into a wheelchair. While in the wheelchair, Goss grabbed the correctional officer’s sidearm and after a struggle, disarmed the correctional officer. During the continued struggle for the firearm, a round was discharged. A Jefferson County Sherriff’s Deputy assigned to court house security observed the incident on the sally port surveillance camera and went to the sally port to aid the Correctional Officer. The Deputy discharged his firearm striking Goss. Goss was transported to an area hospital and eventually transferred to a St. Louis area hospital for treatment of his injuries.
Deputies and correctional officers from the sheriff’s office, plus officers of the Mt. Vernon Police Department responded to the courthouse and assisted with safely securing the scene. The inmate was transported to a local hospital by EMS personnel, then transported to a St. Louis hospital for treatment of his injuries. The deputy was uninjured, but still evaluated at a local medical facility and released. The correctional officer sustained minor injuries and was treated at a local hospital and released.
Goss was being transported to the courthouse for jury selection in his upcoming trial charging him with the June armed robbery of the Huck’s convenience store on South 10th Street in Mt. Vernon and the subsequent exchange of gunfire with a Mt. Vernon police officer last summer. The officer was not injured in this exchange but Goss was struck and was hospitalized for a number of weeks before being brought to the Jefferson County Jail to face the two Class X charges.
While jury selection was scheduled in that case for Tuesday, instead of showing jury trial information online court records now show the case is scheduled for a November 30th status hearing.