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Alabama judge seriously wounded after shooting; son charged

Johnny Hardwick

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — An Alabama judge was in serious condition on Saturday after he was wounded, authorities said.

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Johnny Hardwick, the presiding judge of Montgomery County’s Fifteenth Judicial Circuit, was in surgery after being shot, Montgomery County Sheriff Derrick Cunningham told AL.com.

Judge’s son charged

Update 10:29 p.m. EST Feb. 24: The judge’s son, Khalfani Hardwick, 36, has been charged with domestic violence first degree, a Class A felony, AL.com reported. He was also charged with certain persons forbidden to possess a firearm, according to the news outlet.

The first charge is punishable by up to a life sentence in prison.

Investigators said that Khalfani Hardwick was taken into custody approximately 45 minutes after officers responded, WSFA-TV reported.

“I think that’s credit to the men and women of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office,” Montgomery County Assistant Chief Wesley Richerson told reporters. “Sheriff Cunningham assures there’s a number of patrol units always patrolling Montgomery county. And by their nature in their professionalism, they responded accordingly exactly how they trained to do and was a great result in a very short amount of time apprehending the suspect and ensuring that there was no danger to anyone else in the public.”

Johnny Hardwick remains in serious condition, AL.com reported.

Original report: The judge’s son, Khalfani Hardwick, 36, was taken into custody, Cunningham said.

Johnny Hardwick has been a circuit court judge since 2001, WSFA-TV reported. He has also served at the city, state and federal levels, according to the television station. He was an assistant state attorney in Alabama and a municipal court judge for the city of Montgomery and the town of White Hall.

Before that, Johnny Hardwick had a private law practice.

The judge graduated from Alabama State University in 1973 and earned his juris doctor degree from Creighton University. He is the current president of the Alabama Association of Circuit Court Judges, according to WSFA.

“I am just asking that we continue to pray for the judge,” Cunningham told AL.com.

In 2017, Khalfani Hardwick pleaded guilty to second-degree assault for the attempted murder of Clayton Riley in 2014, according to the news outlet.