Elizabeth City, NC – Two prison employees were murdered by inmates and at least 10 were injured during an attempted prison break at the Pasquotank Correctional Institution on Thursday, October 12.
Keith Acree, spokesman with the Department of Public Safety, said, "The fires were set and the attempted escape happened in the sewing plant.”
About 30 inmates work in the sewing plant, where they produce “embroidered logo items, safety vests, and other items for Correction Enterprises."
The names of the two prison employees who were murdered have not yet been released.
The prison was put on lockdown for several hours until order could be restored. Local law enforcement agencies and the Prison Emergency Response Team responded to assist. PERT is a tactical unit consisting of officers from other prisons.
First responders on scene were heard describing the scene over emergency radio. They said “Be advised, we do have a mass casualty incident. I have multiple patients. Some of them are critical…There are probably no more than two critical. But I have many, many patients."
Another first responder radioed dispatch and described the condition of one correctional officer as “struck multiple times with an hammer."
A local community college cancelled classes, and Northside Elementary School, Elizabeth City Middle School, and Pasquotank County High School in the area were put on lockdown. The lockdown at area schools was later lifted, and students were released to go home.