- Associated Press - Friday, October 3, 2014

DECATUR, Ga. (AP) - A DeKalb County police detective is recovering after a handcuffed robbery suspect managed to get his gun and shoot him outside a courtroom, authorities said.

Another detective then killed the suspect, police said.

The gunfire happened about 8:30 p.m. Thursday, on the steps leading to the building where DeKalb County Magistrate Court is held, DeKalb County Public Safety Director Cedric Alexander said.

Detective Phil Cristy, a 25-year veteran, was escorting 19-year-old Miguel Benton, who had been arrested on armed robbery charges. Alexander said Benton got Cristy’s pistol and shot the officer in the leg and wrist. Cristy’s partner, Detective Eddie Stubbs, shot Benton.

Cristy was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, where he underwent surgery Thursday night. He was in stable condition Friday, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Alexander said the reaction by the second detective “was vital” because “the robbery suspect could have continued to fire.”

Alexander said authorities were investigating how the inmate got the detective’s weapon. He said the shooting happened at the building where defendants make their first appearance before a judge, and the detective was escorting the suspect back to jail across the street.

“This is a very sad and unfortunate incident,” Alexander told reporters. “That officer has a family and we’re going to pray he gets through this tonight.”

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