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Robert Gerald Eaton carried two knives with 8-inch blades into the courthouse Monday afternoon, passing the security guards as the metal detector began beeping, video footage released Thursday shows.

He had left the car he hijacked running across the street and headed straight for the courthouse’s entrance, picking the shortest path through a dirt planter. Eaton appeared to be on a mission.

Seconds later, he was shot dead from nine bullets fired by three deputies inside a packed courtroom.

“Our deputies did exactly what they were trained to do,” Merced County Sheriff Mark Pazin said.

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The surveillance footage, shot from three different angles, matches witnesses descriptions of the courthouse shooting Monday. An autopsy showed he was hit eight times in the chest and once in the leg, a bullet that hit the concrete and ricocheted into a door.

The toxicology report, showing whether Eaton had any drugs in his system, will be completed in four to six weeks.

Deputy Bill Haywood, Deputy Steve Hymiller and one other unnamed deputy shot at 40-year-old Eaton as he entered the crowded courtroom with knives held above his head.The other deputy’s name will be released after a trial he’s testifying in wraps up.

Reporter Scott Jason can be reached at (209) 385-2453 or

Keep checking for updates and video footage.