The facility where many statewide court cases are heard was damaged by gun shots over the weekend. Six windows at the Cole County Courthouse in Jefferson City were taken out by shots fired.
Presiding County Commissioner Sam Bushman notes the windows are in the process of being replaced. He notes they’re all custom made to fit the building, which is more than 100-years-old. “I asked our facilities director about the one, because one of them just came down” said Bushman. “I said ‘What’s the cost on that window’, and he said probably a couple of thousand dollars. You got six windows that are shot. You’re talking quite a bit of money.”
Bushman says no one was in the building when the incident took place, but notes that wasn’t the case over the previous weekend. “The people putting in the windows, they actually worked Saturday, Sunday and Monday to try to play catch-up because we’re running behind. But now we’re going to have to order these specially made windows, so it’s going to mess us up there too.”
Bushman says he walked over to the courthouse at about 7 a.m. Monday when he encountered several sheriff’s deputies who were investigating the gun shots. The Cole County Sheriff’s Department is looking into the incident and well as the shooting over the weekend of a window at the building which houses the public defender’s office in Jefferson City.
Bushman thinks the extent of damage indicates a larger caliber weapon was used than a BB or pellet gun. He says the windows being replaced at the century old stone courthouse are oval shaped and all have slightly different dimensions, which is why they have to be specially ordered.
No disruption to the courthouse’s operations is expected because of the window damage. Among the major court suits litigated at the Cole County Courthouse in recent months was a case involving arguments over whether Constitutional Amendment 3, which would increase taxes on cigarettes, should be taken off the November ballot.
It’s not known if the gun shots were acts of random vandalism or motivated by a specific reason.