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Hempstead Courthouse Briefly Shut Down Following Brawl

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) - An arraignment at First District Court in Hempstead was disrupted when a fight broke out inside the courtroom.

A court spokesperson told WCBS 880's Sophia Hall that in all, six people were arrested following the melee.

Two of those arrested and two court officers were injured in the fight, according to the court spokesperson.

Hempstead Courthouse Briefly Shut Down Following Brawl

Officials said murder suspect Pedro Merchant, 20, was before the judge at his arraignment around 11 a.m. when his family and the victim's family and friends got into a heated exchange.

The arguing escalated into brawl.

The courthouse itself was locked down for 15 minutes and the streets surrounding the courthouse were closed off to traffic for an hour, Hall reported.

Merchant, of North Valley Stream, is accused of fatally shooting 17-year-old Dante James Quinones-Wright last week.

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