An investigation is underway following an emergency evacuation of the DeKalb County courthouse in downtown Decatur early May 26 due to a suspected explosive device.
The DeKalb Sheriff’s Office ordered all occupants to be evacuated and implemented an immediate security sweep of the judicial complex and some nearby businesses, including the MARTA station, "out of an abundance of caution."
Decatur Police Department, the DeKalb County Police Department and DeKalb Police K9 units, the Marshal’s Office, MARTA Police and Homeland Security all helped clear the building. DeKalb County Sheriff's Office shut down West Trinity Place between Commerce Drive and Church Street, as well as North McDonough Street between West Howard Avenue and West Trinity Place.
After several hours of searching by nearly 60 law enforcement members, no device was found and the building was reopened around 2 p.m.
“We are pleased with the outcome of this incident and grateful for the cooperation of our colleagues and the public in maintaining a safe environment as we responded to the threat,” DeKalb Sheriff Melody M. Maddox said.
Police have not released how they were alerted of the threat, but this was the second incident at the courthouse within 24 hours. On May 27, Lawrenceville resident Marcus Payton, 27, arrested after attempting to bring a loaded gun into the courthouse.
According to the Sheriff's Office, Payton the x-ray monitor at the security checkpoint revealed the presence of a loaded Glock 45 handgun in his backpack. Payton was arrested and charged with carrying a weapon or long gun in an unauthorized location. Authorities transported him to the DeKalb County Jail, where is being held without bond.