Correctional officer injured in attempted inmate escape at Pasquotank Correctional Institution released from hospital

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. – A Pasquotank Correctional Institution officer who was injured in a failed prisoner escape attempt was released from Sentara Norfolk General Hospital Tuesday night.

Correctional Officer Wendy Shannon and maintenance worker Geoffrey Howe are still receiving treatment at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

Correctional Officer Justin Smith and Correction Enterprises Manager Veronica Darden were killed and several others injured during the escape, according to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety.

Smith provided security in the Correction Enterprises Specialty Sewing Plant and had worked as a correctional officer since 2012. Darden supervised inmates at the Specialty Sewing Plant for the last 10 years and previously worked as a correctional officer.

Officials with the Department say inmates started a fire around 3 p.m. in the facility’s Specialty Sewing Plant, where about 30 inmates work producing embroidered logo items, safety vests and other sewn items. After the fire was set, several inmates unsuccessfully attempted to escape.

The facility is able to house approximately 900 inmates, but Thursday’s inmate count was at 725. The state confirmed that there were no missing inmates after three head counts. Approximately 200 law enforcement officers responded to the incident.

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