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story.lead_photo.caption Vandals caused damage to the Cole County Courthouse and the Carnegie Building by shooting several windows in the buildings, as seen here in the exit doorway on the High Street side of the building. Photo by Julie Smith / Fulton Sun.

Someone shot and damaged six windows in the Cole County Courthouse over the weekend, plus one in a nearby county building.

The Cole County Sheriff's Department is investigating the apparent act of vandalism.

Capt. John Wheeler said a pellet gun was used, and three pellets have been recovered. Investigators are trying to narrow down the time period that the incident occurred, Wheeler said.

Early Monday afternoon, Wheeler said the department had no leads or suspects. He asked anyone with information to call the Sheriff's Department at 634-9160.

He doesn't know yet whether any videotape of the incident exists.

Presiding Commissioner Sam Bushman said he was shocked when he arrived at the courthouse on Monday morning to find Greg Camp, the county's facilities manager, and three sheriff's deputies looking over the damage.

"This is a very expensive prank," Bushman said. "These windows are not cheap. The one that came down is a couple thousand dollars. This is going to be an expensive act of vandalism."

He said there have been recent incidents of kids shooting out car windows with BB guns, but this was done with a pellet gun. 

No other recent vandalism has occurred at the courthouse, he said.

Nearly a year ago, the county awarded a $861,405 bid to the Wilson Group, based near Kansas City, to replace some 400 windows in the courthouse. The process is still taking place, and Camp said four of the windows that had bullet holes in them were newly installed windows, and three were older windows.

All of the courthouse windows that were shot were facing High Street. One window also was damaged on the Public Defender's Office in the Carnegie Building, behind the courthouse facing Adams Street.

Camp said four of the damaged windows facing High Street were across the top of the building. One window with a fourth-floor corner office had two bullet holes. One was a window above the glass door with the "Cole County Courthouse" sign, he said.

Camp has not yet determined a damage estimate, but said the county does have the windows insured.

The Wilson Group will replace four of the windows, and Brady's Glass and Paint will install three. No timetable has been established for the Wilson Group's work, but Camp said he's hopeful Brady's can replace their three windows, which are single-pane windows, by the end of the week.

The others are double-pane windows. The shots fired into those windows only damaged the first pane, Camp said.

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