Starter bad?

So, for the last ten days or so, my car has been struggling to start. It has been sluggish in turning over, headlights and dash lights dim…so it’s like there’s a lot of juice being pulled to start the car. Well, today I go to start the car after work, it does the same sluggish start, then I heard what sounded like metal grinding on metal, and the car won’t start at all. I can turn the key and get all the electrical stuff to work, windows…dash lights…etc…but the car won’t turn over. I don’t think it’s the alternator, I just replaced that and it’s not the usual clicking sound associated w/ a bad alternator. II think this is a starter that’s gone bad, but I’m not 100%. Any thoughts?

Check the battery, and battery connections and connections to the starter motor. How old is the battery? many auto parts stores will check the battery and starter motor for free.