Witness: 'He just pointed the gun at me'
ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Police and local officials say a defendant in a rape trial grabbed the gun off of a sheriff's deputy and opened fire. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Rowland Barnes, his court reporter and a deputy were killed. A second deputy was wounded.
The suspect, Brian Nichols, fled the Atlanta courthouse and is believed to have carjacked several vehicles to make his escape. CNN's Daryn Kagan spoke with one carjacking victim, a tow truck driver named Deronte Franklin, who described what happened.
KAGAN: Deronte, tell me what happened to you this morning.
FRANKLIN: Well, I was sitting at the corner of Peachtree Street and Wall when an SUV come around the corner sliding. And by that time, about two or three police came up. They was looking for the vehicle, and I pointed to them that he went in the parking deck. As I was showing them where he went, he was still sitting there, and he took off and broke the gate on up through the parking deck.
So as I came back to my truck to sit in my truck, the rest of the police came up asking where he was at, and I pointed over to that way. As they went up in the deck to try to locate the subject, he came back down with the handgun and told me to get out of the truck, and I told him he can have the truck, and I walked away.
KAGAN: What did you think? I mean, you clearly knew who you were looking at at that point?
KAGAN: And he did have a gun at that time?
FRANKLIN: Yes, he did.
KAGAN: And other than pointing the gun at you, did he threaten you in any way?
FRANKLIN: No, he just pointed the gun at me and told me to get out of the truck, and I told him he could have it, and he went northbound on Peachtree Street and made a left up the one-way street on Walton.
KAGAN: Not a typical day at the office for you, Deronte?
FRANKLIN: Say that again?
KAGAN: Not a usual day at work for you, what you expected when you came to work today?
FRANKLIN: No, I was expecting to tow cars today.
KAGAN: When this was all unfolding, you saw the police looking for this suspect, did you realize what had taken place before, that the shooting had taken place at the courthouse?
FRANKLIN: No, I didn't. I just thought it was just a regular car chase.
KAGAN: And were you able to then contact police officers, and then they took off after it in the direction that you pointed?
KAGAN: All right. But you are safe, you're OK? You did the smart thing, you handed over your truck?
FRANKLIN: Exactly. I'm here at the office.
KAGAN: All right. Deronte Franklin, thank you for that.