Atlanta Shooting Victim Often Visited PCB

By: Jason Davis
By: Jason Davis

Friday's courthouse shooting in Atlanta claimed three lives.

One of them will be missed in our community. In addition to being a part-time resident here, Judge Rowland Barnes had many friends in Panama City Beach.

Brian Nichols may have surrendered to law enforcement officials, but not before he allegedly took the life of a man that made the Panhandle his second home.

Panama City Beach resident Wayne Beford said, "He (Rowland) loved coming to the Panama City Beach area. It was kind of a getaway for him from the hustle and bustle of Atlanta."

Judge Barnes owned two condos on Panama City Beach and served as president of the association for one of them. His local friends remember him well.

"He was just one of the nicest guys you would ever want to meet, just very sincere. He loved his work," said Beford.

Glen Campbell, who sold Judge Rowland one of the condos, said, "He was very unassuming, not a pretentious man, very warm. He'll be sorely missed in this community. The last time I saw him was several months ago at the Winn-Dixie in the parking lot. We sat there and talked for 30 minutes."

Like many of Judge Barnes' friends, Campbell feels there should have been better security.

"I honestly feel that Judge Barnes should have been more secure in the setting he was in considering the violent nature of the criminal he was judging."

Some of the security features in the Fulton County Courthouse include private elevators for judges and heavily-secured chambers, but it was not enough to prevent the tragedy.

Judge Barnes was 64 years old.


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