I-Team: Man brings loaded gun into Justice Center but is not arrested

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CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio (WJW) -- The FOX 8 I-Team is investigating after we found a man brought a loaded gun into the Justice Center downtown heading to a murder trial, but he didn’t get arrested.

Cuyahoga County just released video to the I-Team of what happened, and we went to see the Cuyahoga County sheriff.

Last month, guards at a checkpoint spotted a gun while screening a bag through a metal detector.

We’ve learned the man with the gun had come to watch a murder trial.

Yet after deputies questioned the man, they didn’t arrest him. They let him take the gun back to his car.

Chief Deputy Bryan Smith said, “It’s a case-by-case basis."

Deputies don’t always arrest a person caught with a weapon at the Justice Center.

Investigators say the man had a permit to carry a concealed weapon, and he’s a retired Army veteran.

But we asked, what about the circumstances? Carrying a gun while going to watch a murder trial.

Chief Deputy Smith said, “You know, that’s a good point.” He added, “He said that he forgot that it was in there, and we don’t believe he was trying to conceal it by putting it on the metal detector itself.”

Smith also told us the man was a relative of the victim in the murder case.

Multiple sources tell the I-Team the man had been sitting in on the trial. Then, he got stopped with the gun at the checkpoint coming back after a lunch break. While he didn’t go to jail, the judge didn’t let him back in that courtroom.

Sheriff David Schilling said, “We have an obligation to keep the courthouse safe.”

He said investigators even spoke to a prosecutor about the case with the gun, but no charges were filed.

Meantime, late Wednesday, the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office issued a statement, saying, “If and when we receive a complete investigative report from the Sheriff’s Department, we will review it for potential charges.”

Despite all that, the sheriff is now doing an internal review.

He said, “We just want to make sure that all our procedures were covered as far as the way it was handled after the weapon was intercepted to see if there’s anything we can do to improve our procedure.”

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