A nurse and a correctional officer died Tuesday at an Iowa penitentiary after an inmate assaulted staff members, the Iowa Department of Corrections said.
The incident unfolded around 10:15 a.m. Tuesday morning at the Anamosa State Penitentiary. An unidentified inmate “attacked multiple staff members and inmates in the prison’s infirmary,” the press release said.
A nurse and a correctional officer were injured during the attack and staff “began attempting life-saving first aid” until the paramedics arrived. Both the nurse and correctional officer succumbed to their injuries.
Other security staff immediately arrived on scene and restrained the inmate.
The incident remains under an investigation by both the Iowa Department of Corrections and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.
Republican Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds called the incident a “senseless tragedy” in a statement posted to Twitter.
“Today, our state grieves the loss of two public servants who were attacked while on duty at the Anamosa State Penitentiary. My prayers and deepest condolences are with their families, friends, and colleagues as they begin to cope with this senseless tragedy.”
Today, our state grieves the loss of two public servants who were attacked while on duty at the Anamosa State Penitentiary. My prayers and deepest condolences are with their families, friends, and colleagues as they begin to cope with this senseless tragedy. (1/2)
— Gov. Kim Reynolds (@IAGovernor) March 23, 2021
Danny Homan, the president of the AFSCME Council 61, which is the labor union representing the employees at the facility, said the union would work to ensure something like this never happens again. (RELATED: Michigan Officer Dies After Being Attacked By Inmate)
“No one should ever have to go to work and worry about whether they will come home or not,” Homan said. “Unfortunately for two Iowans who had committed their lives to keeping our communities safe, they won’t be going home tonight.”
“We don’t have all the information yet about what happened this morning, but as more information becomes available, we will have more to say about how we can ensure this never, ever, ever happens again.”
Anamosa City Council Member Rich Crump said it was a tragic day for the city, according to KTIV.
“Living in Anamosa, your, your odds of knowing somebody who works at that reformatory, is great, and not knowing if it’s a family member, friend, your heart just sinks, and you pray for the people involved,” Crump reportedly said. “You pray for the families that are involved in it, you just hope for some peace.”