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A 24-year-old defendant was shot by a sheriff’s deputy while lunging at a city judge who sentenced him to two to four years in prison at the conclusion of a parole violation hearing Monday. The defendant, Shawn Frazier, was appearing before Judge Gary S. Glazer for a parole violation hearing related to a 1999 firearms conviction at about 11 a.m. when he was sentenced. Police officials said the 6-foot-3, 285-pound Frazier responded by flipping over the defense counsel table and chasing after the judge, who ran out of the room to safety with Frazier in hot pursuit. When Frazier reached the door, the deputy — who sheriff’s officials said was a 20-year veteran — fired a single shot into the defendant’s lower back, police officials said. At a press briefing outside the Criminal Justice Center, Philadelphia police Capt. Thomas Quinn said that the sentence was due to Frazier’s missing required appointments and for testing positive for drugs. Quinn said Frazier waved his hands in the air and lunged toward the judge, who fled the courtroom. When Frazier reached the door the judge used, the deputy fired one shot from his gun. “He apparently just, for want of a better term, flipped out,” Quinn said. Frazier was taken to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, where he was in critical condition as of press time Monday. Police and sheriff’s officials declined to release the name of the deputy, who was the only law enforcement officer in the CJC courtroom. Philadelphia Sheriff John Green said the deputy was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. Philadelphia district attorney’s office spokeswoman Cathy Abookire said that District Attorney Lynne Abraham was not available for comment Monday. Abookire said that the prosecutor in the courtroom at the time of the incident was Danielle Andrisani, an assistant district attorney from the felony waiver unit. Glazer, 54, a former federal prosecutor, was elected to his first 10-year term as a common pleas judge in 1991 and won re-election in 2001. The shooting was one of several incidents involving defendants this year. Last month, deputies had to tackle a murder suspect after he sucker-punched his defense attorney during a trial. Days later, a deputy sheriff allegedly discovered that the same defendant, Malik El-Shabazz, had smuggled a homemade knife into the courthouse as jurors deliberated whether he should get the death penalty for murdering a 6-year-old girl. In February, a man charged with killing a 13-year-old girl escaped from a locked room at the courthouse and was loose for about 10 minutes before he was captured in a ceiling crawl space. “Right now, we need to just assess our manpower situation and see if we need more people. We’ve had a rash of incidents,” Green said. “You would like to see more than one deputy in the courtroom. … Our deputy did a fantastic job when you consider he was alone.” Municipal President Judge Louis Presenza serves as co-chairman of the Philadelphia courts’ security committee along with Common Pleas Judge Esther Sylvester. He said that considering the hundreds of cases and people at the CJC every day, the Philadelphia criminal courts have a pretty strong safety record. “Of course, when something like this happens, it’s going to get a lot of attention, and it should,” Presenza said. “But on a daily basis, I think the security is pretty good.” Presenza said that the more security available, the better.” But he said he did not want to question the decision-making of Green and his deputies. “The sheriffs are in charge of security, and it would appear that [shooting Frazier] was something this deputy felt he had to do,” Presenza said. “The question becomes: Is there a way to address [incidents] like this without discharging a weapon? I wasn’t there so I don’t know for sure. But I’m sure [the security committee] will discuss this.” George Newman, the Philadelphia Bar Association’s criminal justice section chairman, has been handling criminal defense cases for 29 years. He said he could not recall such an incident occurring in Philadelphia. “Things like this are rare, and considering the volume of people they have over there every day, the chances of something like that happening are around the same as being struck by lightning,” said Newman, name partner at Newman & McGlaughlin. “I don’t think security is inadequate. In certain cases, maybe you want two deputies, but for the vast majority, one is sufficient.” As for the deputy discharging his gun, Newman said, “it might be justified, but it does raise questions because that should only happen as a last resort. I would think there will be a serious investigation into that.” One criminal defense attorney, who did not wish to be identified, said that sheriff’s deputies come in all shapes, sizes and ages. And depending on which deputy was involved, the attorney said that most deputies would not want to engage such a large man in hand-to-hand combat or risk having their gun taken — in the process, endangering other court personnel and citizens in the courtroom. The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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