Officials of a private company that runs the Bay County Jail say an inmate takeover began when a guard was ambushed during a planned escape attempt.
The Corrections Corporation of American publicly is disclosing details of what happened for the first time, nearly two months after the 11-hour standoff that ended with the shooting of a prisoner and one of four hostages. The wounded inmate and hostage, a nurse, both survived shots from a sheriff's SWAT team that stormed the jail September sixth.
CCA Vice President for Operations Jimmy Turner told The News Herald of Panama City that on September 5, a jailer entered a cell and tried to wake up an inmate “playing possum.” He said another prisoner sneaked up from behind and struck the guard in the head, probably with a bar of soap or a padlock wrapped in a sock.
The jailer radioed for help. A shift captain then closed a riot gate and shut the elevators to keep inmates from getting off the third floor.
The inmates rushed across the hall to a nurse's station where they took a guard and three nurses hostage.
Four inmates have been charged with felonies stemming from the escape attempt.
The State Attorney’s Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement are investigating the shootings.