The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

February 26, 2013

Officials: Inmate kills guard at federal penitentiary near Waymart

WAYMART — An inmate has killed a guard at a federal prison in northeastern Pennsylvania.

Prison officials say it happened Monday night at the Canaan penitentiary in Waymart, about 20 miles northeast of Scranton. Authorities say Correctional Officer Eric Williams was working in a housing unit when an inmate using a homemade weapon attacked him.

Williams was rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 11:30 p.m.

Williams was from Nanticoke. He began his career with the Bureau of Prisons in September 2011.

The high-security prison has been placed on lockdown and an FBI investigation is under way.

Warden David Ebbert says, "This is clearly the darkest day in our institution's short history, and we are in shock over this senseless loss of a colleague and friend."

U.S. Rep. Tom Marino issued the following statement today:

“Last night’s tragedy is a devastating reminder of the dangers our federal prison guards confront every day.  They work in some of the most dangerous and hazardous conditions to keep the rest of us safe.  My thoughts and prayers are with the family and loved ones of Correctional Officer Eric Williams, who was killed in the line of duty at United States Penitentiary-Canaan.

As a former county and federal prosecutor, I mourn with the entire federal law enforcement community and offer my deepest condolences, particularly to those at the Bureau of Prisons.

“I will work tirelessly with the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Prisons through my capacity on the House Judiciary Committee and meet with local officials in Pennsylvania to fully investigate this incident and find solutions to prevent future tragedies.”

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