Make this page my home page
  1. Drag the home icon in this panel and drop it onto the "house icon" in the tool bar for the browser

  2. Select "Yes" from the popup window and you're done!

June 21, 2006
Print Comment RSS

Fla. guard opens fire on feds; gunman and investigator killed

Law enforcement officers prepare to enter a federal detention center in Tallahassee, Fla., to investigate a shooting that occurred inside the prison, Wednesday. The FBI said three prison employees were shot, killing two as investigators came to arrest six corrections officers at the Tallahassee Federal Correctional Institution. (AP Photo/Phil Coale)
By Brent Kallestad
The Associated Press

A guard started a gunfight inside a federal prison Wednesday as FBI agents tried to arrest him and five others accused of trading alcohol and pot for sex with female inmates, officials said. When the shooting was over, two people were dead and another was wounded.

The gunman and a Justice Department investigator were killed in the exchange of gunfire, and a prison employee helping with the arrest was hospitalized, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The victims' names and the condition of the survivor were not immediately released.

The six guards were indicted by a grand jury Tuesday on charges alleging, among other things, that they exchanged contraband such as alcohol, drugs and money for sex with female inmates over a two-year period and used it to buy inmates' silence.

When FBI agents and Justice Department investigators arrived at the center Wednesday morning to arrest the six men, one of the indicted guards shot a federal correctional institution officer, said FBI spokesman John Girgenti. He said the officers fired back.

The agents were not expecting the prison guards to be armed, the law enforcement official told the AP, though he could not immediately explain why.

The official said the guard fired with a personal weapon, wounding the Bureau of Prisons employee who was assisting with the arrest. Agents from the Justice Department's inspector general's office returned fire, killing the guard, the official said, adding that a Justice Department agent was killed in the exchange. It wasn't immediately clear who fired that fatal shot.

"The community is safe. The institution is in lockdown status," federal Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman Carla Wilson said.

The detention center houses mostly men and is part of the Tallahassee Federal Correctional Institution. A low security prison for female inmates is next to the detention center. Together the men's and women's units total 1,445 inmates.

The indictment accused five of the six guards of having sexual contact with eight inmates from September 2003 through September 2005 in exchange for contraband, which could include alcohol, drugs and money.

They guards also were accused of threatening to plant contraband in inmates' belongings or have them shipped to other facilities farther from their families if they reported the illegal activity.

According to the indictment, the guards showed inmates information about themselves and other prisoners on the prison system's computer system to prove their threats were real and that they could be tracked anywhere in the system. It said the guards switched duty assignments to arrange trysts with the female inmates.

Tallahassee police sent every available squad car to the prison at about 7:45 a.m. after receiving a 911 call, spokesman John Newland said.

Associated Press writer Mark Sherman in Washington contributed to this report.

-------------------------------------------------

Earlier report:

By BRENT KALLESTAD

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.- A guard at a federal detention center opened fire as investigators came to arrest him and five other guards Wednesday, starting a gunfight that killed two people and wounded another, the FBI said.

The six guards were indicted Tuesday on corruption charges alleging they brought alcohol and other contraband into the part of the prison where female inmates were held and sold it or exchanged it for sex with the inmates or the inmates' silence.

When FBI agents and Justice Department investigators arrived at the center Wednesday morning to arrest the six men, one of the indicted guards shot at a federal correctional institution officer, said FBI spokesman John Girgenti. He said the officer fired back while trying to escape the shooting.

Girgenti declined to comment on who the victims were or whether the shooter was among them. Tallahassee police said earlier that the shooter was in custody.

The condition of the survivor and identities of the victims were not immediately released.

"The community is safe. The institution is in lockdown status," federal Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman Carla Wilson said.

The detention center houses mostly men and is part of the Tallahassee Federal Correctional Institution. A low security prison for female inmates is next to the detention center. Together the men's and women's units total 1,445 inmates

Related Article:
Former head of Florida's prison system threatened employee to stop probe
Related content sponsored by:





PoliceOne Offers

P1 on Facebook

Connect with PoliceOne

Mobile Apps Facebook Twitter Google

Get the #1 Police eNewsletter

Police Newsletter Sign up for our FREE email roundup of the top news, tips columns, videos and more, sent 3 times weekly
See Sample