SC CO locked in cell by inmates during attempted escape

Information on how the inmates were able to lock the CO in the cell was not made public


By Noah Feit
The State

MCCORMICK, S.C. — Several inmates tried to escape from a South Carolina prison Sunday, and a guard was locked inside a cell during the failed attempt, the Department of Corrections said.

At about 6 p.m., five inmates were caught in a prison yard inside McCormick Correctional Institution, Department of Corrections officials said on Twitter.

"No one escaped," officials tweeted at about 11 p.m. "The incident is over, and the institution is secure."

Although a guard was locked inside a cell by inmates, no prison staff was hurt, according to the tweet.

Two inmates suffered non-life-threatening injuries and were taken to an area hospital, officials said. Further information on their condition, or how they were injured, was not included in the tweet.

How the inmates were able to lock the guard in the cell was not made public, but the attempted breakout is being investigated by the Department of Corrections Police Services and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

SLED, along with the McCormick County Sheriff's Department, McCormick Police Department, South Carolina Highway Patrol, and McCormick County EMS all responded to the incident and were thanked for their assistance by Department of Corrections Director Bryan Stirling.

McCormick Correctional is a men's-only, high-security institution that houses 869 inmates, according to the Department of Corrections. Like other Level 3 prisons in South Carolina, McCormick is "designed primarily to house violent offenders with longer sentences, and inmates who exhibit behavioral problems," the Department of Corrections said.

It's about 80 miles west of Columbia.

In the first week of December, two inmates at McCormick were charged with the murder of another prisoner. The Nov. 3 attack at McCormick was the first of two homicides the Department of Corrections has reported in 2020.

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(c)2020 The State (Columbia, S.C.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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