Judge Johnny Hardwick, a prominent figure in Montgomery County’s Fifteenth Judicial Circuit, was left in serious condition after being shot by his son, Khalfani Hardwick, during a domestic dispute. The event unfolded in the judge’s Montgomery home shortly after 1 p.m. on Saturday, according to the county sheriff’s office, leaving the community in disbelief.

Khalfani, a 36-year-old with a checkered past, including a conviction for a decade-old murder, fled the scene in a truck, sparking a tense manhunt that concluded less than an hour later, just a mile from where he abandoned his vehicle. Despite the swift apprehension, charges against Khalfani were pending as investigations continued.

Assistant Chief Wesley Richerson of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office detailed the harrowing ordeal, noting Judge Hardwick’s critical injuries and subsequent surgery. However, the exact dynamics of the altercation, including the motive and the number of shots fired, remained under wraps as police delved deeper into the case.

This incident is particularly distressing given Khalfani Hardwick’s violent history. In 2014, he admitted to fatally shooting Clayton Riley, a case that saw his attempted murder charge reduced to second-degree assault, controversially avoiding prison time. This leniency has now cast a shadow over the Hardwick family, with questions arising about the implications of Khalfani’s previous legal outcomes.

Judge Johnny Hardwick, who took up his role on the 15th Judicial Circuit in 2001 and was recently named president of the Alabama Association of Circuit Court Judges, is renowned for his dedication to justice and the community. An Alabama State University alumnus, he has been an active supporter of education, leading initiatives to assist students aspiring to law careers. His contributions, particularly in facilitating significant donations to ASU, highlight his commitment to nurturing future generations.