- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 18, 2020

MERIDIAN, Miss. (AP) - The recent shooting of a Mississippi judge outside a courthouse was “personal,” authorities said Tuesday.

Chancery Judge Charlie Smith was shot near his abdomen Monday morning outside the Lauderdale County Courthouse as he was exiting his truck to go into the courthouse, police said.

He was initially listed as being in critical condition, but is now recovering, The Meridian Star reported.

“We feel very confident that it is an isolated incident and that it was directed toward him,” said Interim Police Chief Lewis Robbins.

The shooting occurred in Meridian, about 98 miles (158 kilometers) northeast of Jackson.

The police have returned to the scene numerous times and are working to pull video from every source in the area, Robbins added. So far, there is no suspect and police have not found a gun.

Smith’s district includes Lauderdale and Clarke counties. Among subjects that chancery judges in Mississippi handle are divorces, child custody cases, adoptions and guardianships.

Smith became a judge in January 2019 after more than 20 years as a youth court and county court prosecutor.

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