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Two guards killed at Mo. prison in murder-suicide

The Associated Press

CHILLICOTHE, Mo.- Two prison guards at the Chillicothe Correctional Center died Sunday in what authorities believe was a murder-suicide that might have stemmed from a domestic dispute.

The names of the guards were not being released late Sunday night, but they were identified as a man and a woman in their 30s who had joined the staff of the women's prison this summer.

"We've never had anything of this type" happen before, said prison superintendent Jennifer Miller.

Several people witnessed the shooting, which happened just before 3:30 p.m. outside a building that houses a library and classroom. Prison officials said only the two guards, both of whom were on duty, were involved.

Both were pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Prison guards at the 525-bed prison are not allowed to carry guns for their jobs, but while there are occasionally random searches, they do not have to pass through metal detectors, Miller said.

"We have policies in place, though we do have to trust our employees to a certain extent," said Department of Corrections Director Larry Crawford.

Crawford said the prison went into institutional lockdown after the shootings, during which time inmates were confined to their living areas and not allowed to communicate with people outside of the prison.

But he said no inmates were involved.

Officials declined to say which of the two fired the shots or what led to the shootings, citing the ongoing investigation.

Corrections spokesman Brian Hauswirth said investigators were interviewing about 20 witnesses Sunday night. The prison, which houses minimum- to maximum-security inmates and employs about 200 people, is one of two Missouri correctional institutions for women.

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