A correctional officer and a nurse were killed after an inmate attacked several staff members and other inmates at Anamosa State Penitentiary in Iowa, prison authorities said.
The attack took place Tuesday morning in the prison infirmary. The inmate was restrained by additional security personnel, while other facility employees began “attempting life-saving first aid for the injured until paramedics arrived,” the Iowa Department of Corrections said in a statement.
A correctional nurse and a correctional officer died from their injuries, according to the statement.
The names of the deceased will not be released until family members are notified. The inmate’s identity has not been released at this time.
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds promised justice for the victims’ families, calling the incident a “heinous and tragic murder.”
“Today, our state mourns the loss of two public servants who were attacked while on duty at the Anamosa State Penitentiary,” Reynolds said in a statement. “My prayers and condolences go out to their families, friends and colleagues as they begin to grapple with this senseless tragedy.”
Reynolds also said he would order all state flags to fly at half mast to honor and remember the two victims.
Danny Homan, president of the union representing correctional facility employees in Iowa, said: “No one should have to go to work and worry about whether or not they will go home.”
“Unfortunately for two Iowans who had committed their lives to keep our communities safe, they will not be coming home tonight,” Homan said.
The Anamosa State Penitentiary website indicates that it is a medium-maximum security facility housing about 950 offenders, with approximately 321 employees.
The incident is being investigated by both the Iowa Department of Corrections and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation within the Iowa Department of Public Safety.