Chesco Attacker Had Jumped Fence at White House

Curtis Smith, who died in Tuesday's attack, first drew the attention of authorities in March.

The person responsible for Tuesday’s attack at the Chester County Justice Center was Coatesville man arrested last spring for jumping a fence at the White House.

“The suspect is identified as Curtis Smith of Coatesville, Pa.,” 6ABC reports. “Investigators say Smith entered the Justice Center around 12 p.m. with a knife, and attacked a sheriff’s deputy, slashing him.” Another deputy returned fire; Smith was later declared dead at Paoli Hospital, according to reports.

Smith, 34 , was arrested last March “after he allegedly scaled a stone perimeter fence near 15th and E streets on the east side of the White House, according to a release from the Secret Service,” the Daily Local News reports. “Smith was immediately taken into custody by uniformed Secret Service officers, officials said.”

The center was closed the rest of the day while the investigation continued.

“In Chester County, we have trained intensively to deal with the threat of an attacker in the Justice Center or any other public building,” Chester County D.A. Tom Hogan said in a statement. “Today, that training paid off. The armed attacker was immediately neutralized by the Sheriff’s deputies. Law enforcement responded to make sure that all of the citizens, judges, and court staff were safe. This was a model response to a violent incident.”

The Daily News reports Smith’s family believes that Tuesday’s incident was “suicide by cop.” He never recovered from the 2012 murder of his father by his brother, family members said.