BREAKING NEWS FIRE CREWS RESPONDING TO LARGE FIRE IN ALBERT LEA Full Story
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now
CLOSINGS: View Closings

Officials: Minnesota Corrections Officer Killed By Inmate

A corrections officer is dead after being attacked by an inmate Wednesday afternoon at Minnesota Correctional Facilit...

Posted: Jul 20, 2018 12:02 AM
Updated: Jul 20, 2018 12:02 AM

A corrections officer is dead after being attacked by an inmate Wednesday afternoon at Minnesota Correctional Facility-Stillwater.

Sources tell WCCO-TV that Officer Joseph Gomm was attacked with a hammer by an inmate, who was also confirmed to WCCO as Edward Muhammad Johnson.

Officials say the attack happened at about 1:30 p.m. in the industry building, where inmates have work assignments in things like welding and carpentry. A source said other inmates blocked the door when officers responded. DOC Commissioner Tom Roy said Gomm was not armed.

"The typical officer is issued what's called pepper spray and radios. And when something bad goes down, the team is summoned and other officers are summoned, and it's a fairly rapid response," Roy said.

Gomm was rushed to Regions Hospital in St. Paul, where he was pronounced dead. The prison has been on lockdown since the deadly attack.

Johnson, 42, has been serving time for the 2002 murder of a woman with whom he shared a home. He was transferred to a maximum security prison after the attack.

Commissioner Roy was visibly emotional when he gave a press conference early Wednesday evening in St. Paul.

"Officer Gomm was a fine man doing honorable work," Roy said. "We are visiting emotions that we have not visited before."

He said he believes this is the first time an inmate has killed a corrections officer at Stillwater prison. Roy said Gomm, who is survived by two family members, had just reached his 16-year anniversary as an officer.

"The time today, I hope, will be focused on the family and their loss. I hope we can focus our efforts on the staff and their feelings, because really, that is our priority at this time," he said.

On social media, those who worked with Gomm shared gratitude for knowing him. One woman wrote on Facebook, "He worked in my unit for years and made sure I got out safely to see my loved ones every day. I never let a day go by where I didn't thank him for that!"

A source, who at one point worked with Gomm, described him as caring and confident, and someone who pointed out what corrections officers should do to protect themselves.

Outside Officer Gomm's home in Blaine, neighbors were coming to terms with the news.

"I think it's terrible and I think most of the people here think it's really horrible," said neighbor Mary Olson. "Nobody deserves to die in such a way."

There have been numerous attacks on officers at Minnesota prisons this year, including Stillwater. When WCCO-TV last looked at attacks at Stillwater in late March, offenders had attacked 17 officers.

Stillwater is the state's largest close-security prison for male felons. There are approximately 1,600 inmates there.

State Representative Jack Considine calls the safety and security of officers paramount, and now questions the program's vetting process.

"You dance a fine line. You want inmates to learn new skills, you want them to be better prepared when they leave the facilities, to lead productive tax-paying lives, but then you end up with an inmate with a hammer in his hand," Considine said.

Officials have put all of Minnesota state prisons on lockdown out of what they call an "abundance of caution" until they determine if this was in fact an isolated incident.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is leading the investigation.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 327477

Reported Deaths: 3751
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin688981130
Ramsey28948512
Anoka23196232
Dakota23102194
Washington14590120
Stearns14314121
St. Louis9280117
Scott881056
Wright827145
Olmsted702536
Sherburne608243
Clay521359
Carver501315
Kandiyohi432024
Rice427738
Blue Earth426617
Crow Wing376237
Otter Tail332725
Chisago326914
Benton317253
Nobles313731
Winona292031
Douglas278439
Mower270623
Polk266226
Morrison241730
Lyon228712
Beltrami227518
McLeod226517
Becker217619
Goodhue216930
Steele20568
Itasca202223
Isanti199517
Carlton198417
Todd187414
Nicollet169426
Mille Lacs161231
Freeborn15966
Le Sueur153511
Brown151015
Cass149910
Pine14298
Waseca141811
Meeker139011
Roseau12475
Martin121221
Hubbard117728
Wabasha11041
Redwood101720
Chippewa9508
Cottonwood9284
Renville92729
Dodge9110
Watonwan8824
Wadena8537
Sibley8194
Rock8019
Aitkin79530
Houston7694
Fillmore7480
Pipestone74718
Kanabec67714
Yellow Medicine67612
Pennington6758
Swift6149
Murray6064
Faribault5902
Pope5641
Clearwater5389
Stevens5333
Marshall5289
Jackson5181
Lake4437
Wilkin4115
Koochiching4106
Lac qui Parle3984
Unassigned38259
Lincoln3721
Norman3638
Big Stone3332
Mahnomen3164
Grant2956
Kittson2408
Red Lake2283
Traverse1521
Lake of the Woods1021
Cook790

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 234817

Reported Deaths: 2486
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk34631341
Linn14655168
Scott1166189
Black Hawk11194139
Woodbury10622133
Johnson979337
Dubuque941594
Story698323
Pottawattamie664871
Dallas657159
Sioux380529
Webster371639
Cerro Gordo367649
Marshall357647
Clinton341444
Buena Vista313114
Des Moines298621
Muscatine298271
Warren291714
Plymouth284444
Wapello263772
Jones235917
Jasper229746
Lee225617
Marion210222
Carroll203624
Bremer200212
Henry19137
Crawford181016
Benton174023
Tama156641
Washington149715
Jackson148814
Delaware147021
Dickinson143811
Boone142412
Mahaska133328
Wright13007
Clay12254
Buchanan122010
Hardin121011
Hamilton117713
Page11664
Kossuth11608
Clayton11399
Cedar112513
Harrison110832
Floyd110219
Calhoun10907
Fayette108712
Mills10858
Lyon10619
Butler10576
Winneshiek102713
Poweshiek102013
Iowa100213
Winnebago94825
Cherokee9474
Chickasaw9084
Hancock9008
Sac8978
Louisa89321
Grundy88911
Allamakee87013
Mitchell8369
Cass83524
Union8166
Appanoose80713
Humboldt8015
Shelby79511
Emmet78626
Guthrie77115
Franklin76021
Jefferson7512
Madison7174
Unassigned7050
Palo Alto6734
Keokuk6477
Pocahontas5984
Howard5809
Osceola5411
Greene5401
Ida53013
Clarke5004
Montgomery49311
Davis4819
Taylor4773
Monona4516
Monroe45113
Adair4489
Worth3820
Van Buren3755
Fremont3743
Lucas3376
Decatur3290
Wayne3077
Audubon3052
Ringgold2382
Adams1792
Rochester
Clear
33° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 23°
Mason City
Clear
31° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 20°
Albert Lea
Clear
34° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 28°
Austin
Clear
30° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 25°
Charles City
Clear
30° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 21°
More sunshine heading into the weekend
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Aaron's Thursday Evening Forecast

Image

Hotel Indigo in Rochester adapts to pandemic

Image

Providing a gift for frontline workers

Image

2,000 pigs die in Blooming Prairie farm fire

Image

Gov. Reynolds gives an update on vaccine arrival

Image

Day Center, Warming Center moving after positive COVID-19 cases

Image

One Vision fundraiser

Image

Route 14 to resume service

Image

Contact tracing in Olmsted County

Image

Sen. Klobuchar calls for relief funds

Community Events