Pasquotank prison escape attempt leaves two guards dead

By on October 13, 2017

Two guards were killed and several were injured Thursday in a failed escape attempt after a fire was set at the Paquotank Correction Institution.

The fire was started at about 3 p.m. in the specialty sewing plant, where about 30 inmates make embroidered logo items, safety vests and other items, according to a statement from the Pasquotank-Camden Emergency Management Agency.

Several inmates tried to escape after the fire was put out.


Corrections officer Justin Smith, 35, and 50-year-old Veronica Darden, a supervisor with Corrections Enterprises were killed, according to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety.

“The prison is under control and locked down, with all inmates accounted for in multiple counts,” the emergency management statement said. “Members of the Prison Emergency Response Team have responded to Pasquotank CI from other state prison facilities and are assisting the local prison staff.”

Pasquotank Correctional Institution houses 725 male inmates in close, medium and minimum security.

The Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Department and the State Bureau of Investigation are investigating the incident.

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