Surveillance system paying off in Durham

DURHAM On Wednesday, a group of people were seen walking through the courthouse parking lot and moments later a fight broke out.

With a bird's eye view of the chaos, a deputy wasn't far behind to break up the melee.

"The cameras let us see exactly what happened," said Lt. Stan Harris with the Durham County Sheriff's Office.

It costs $125,000, but the Durham County Sheriff's Office says it's newly installed courthouse surveillance system is worth every penny.

"The cameras are just priceless right now and definitely in this case, it helped us to identify the assailants even though upon seeing the deputies, the suspects ran," Harris said.

Investigators are still trying to track down the two people got away on foot. But at least the suspects are on candid camera, unlike last year when a courthouse brawl erupted into gunfire.

That shooter is still on the run, because a broken surveillance system left police with no way to identify him.

An ABC11 I-Team report later revealed it had been an on-going problem for years, but not anymore.

"Now what we have here at the courthouse is a way to go out and we can really focus in on who started it and who reciprocated, who committed the crime," Harris said.

The cameras are also helping to catch people who may be trying to avoid the law. Out of the six people brought in for questioning after the fight Wednesday, two were wanted on outstanding warrants.

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