Smith County courthouse shooting leads to safety measures - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Smith County courthouse shooting leads to safety measures

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by Jennifer Heathcock

TYLER (KYTX) - Since 2005's Smith County courthouse shooting, there have been changes made for safety. CBS 19's Jennifer Heathcock explains.

It's been 5 years, but there are still obvious signs of the shooting. There are bullet holes still marking the granite outside the courthouse, and, now, security cameras surround it.

"[We'll] be able to see the aftermath for some time."

Judge Joel Baker looks at scars still marking the outside the Smith County courthouse. They're remnants of what happened five years ago, when David Arroyo, Sr.,  began shooting on the courthouse steps.

"We live in a crazy world. We can't prevent everything possible from happening. We've done everything we can do to ensure it doesn't happen again."

The incident led the county to heighten security, including the addition of bulletproof glass to the first and second floors, and shutting down the back entrance to the public. More security cameras were also added around the building.

"We now have machines, new x-ray machines, new metatronics for people coming in. All scanned in. New processes with the Sheriff's Office, more personnel," said Judge Baker.

With additional measures, Baker hopes, comes security for those inside.

"I feel safe, I feel comfortable in these buildings. I think to some extent, people need to have faith beyond the physical things put into place...I think people can rest assured."

Judge Baker says as technology advances, the county will look into new and better security systems.

There were metal detectors and surveillance cameras in place at the time of the shooting, but they have since been upgraded.

 

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