A correctional officer and a nurse were killed after an inmate attacked multiple staff members and other inmates at the Anamosa State Penitentiary in Iowa, prison authorities said.
The attack took place Tuesday morning in the prison’s infirmary. The inmate was restrained by additional security staff, while other employees of the facility began “attempting life-saving first aid on the injured until paramedics arrived,” the Iowa Department of Corrections said in a statement.
A correctional nurse and correctional officer died of their injuries, the statement said.
The names of the deceased are not being released until next of kin are notified. The identity of the inmate has not been released at this time.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds promised justice for the victims’ families, calling the incident a “tragic and heinous killing.”
“Today, our state grieves 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 deepest condolences are with their families, friends, and colleagues as they begin to cope with this senseless tragedy.”
Reynolds also said she would order all flags in the state to be flown at half-staff to honor and remember the two victims.
Danny Homan, president of the union representing correctional facility employees in Iowa, said, “No one should ever have to go to work and worry about whether they will come home or not."
"Unfortunately for two Iowans who had committed their lives to keeping our communities safe, they won’t be going home tonight,” Homan said.
The Anamosa State Penitentiary’s website states that it is a maximum to medium security installation that houses about 950 offenders, with approximately 321 staff.
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.