Police shot and killed a Maryland state prison inmate in a cemetery yesterday, hours after he overpowered four correctional officers and escaped from a hospital. His escape took place at the same hospital where, in November, a suspect undergoing tests overpowered a state trooper, took her gun, shot at her and eluded police for five hours before being recaptured.
“Correctional officers will tell you, inmates – some of them 24 hours a day – look for ways to escape the system, and it’s a challenge [officers] face every day,” said Greg Shipley, a spokesman for the Maryland State Police. A union official questioned the policy that requires corrections officers to carry guns when escorting inmates to hospitals for medical treatment, saying yesterday that it puts officers at risk. The officers do not carry guns inside prisons. “Our position is and has been that the officers shouldn’t be carrying guns into the hospitals,” said Patrick Moran of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 92, a union that represents correctional officers. Correctional officers get weapons training, but “the fact of the matter is, you are in a confined area and all sorts of things can happen,” said Moran. He said that’s why guards do not carry guns inside prisons, though they have them in guard towers.