A man shot inside the Goodwater Municipal Courthouse is in critical condition at UAB Hospital.
A police officer shot him at 9:39 a.m. Thursday morning after he was believed to be reaching for a judge's gun.
Witnesses say Keith Ford who was on crutches got into a fight with a judge during which Ford grabbed him and tried to hit him with a crutch.
But police say ford was reaching beneath the judge's robe for a gun when a shot was fired into his stomach.
Minutes after the shooting, dozens of people tried to seek refuge at the Peace Love Serenity Beauty Shop.
"We aint got no peace," shouted one man to police.
Most were inside the courtroom during the shooting. They say Ford was being sentenced and didn't agree with the jail or fines for a harassment charge. He began arguing with the judge.
"Keith jumped up with the crutch like this, and the cop pushed him off and drawed the pistol. He put the crutch down and started hopping to the bench and grabbed the judge by the arm saying, 'this not right. This not right,'" recalled William Allen who was inside the courtroom.
That's when witnesses say a Goodwater police officer aimed his gun again
"He pointed it at everyone in there. He made us all get on the floor," said Marion Allen who was concerned about the safety of the children in the courtroom.
"He shot him, shot him in the stomach then shot him again when he fell," said Daniel Williams who was in court for unrelated charges.
Police say it was a defensive move.
"He [Ford] did try to obtain a weapon while in the courtroom during the altercation and he was shot by a Goodwater police officer," said Trooper Chad Joiner, an Alabama State Trooper.
But the shooting still angered many.
"I hear him say to tell his baby he loved her," said Williams.
"He shouldn't have got shot. No way. If you are police, aren't you going to have a tazer on his side?," asked Allen.
The Alabama Bureau of Investigations is handling the case because an officer is involved. It will turn over the findings to the district attorney.