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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: 486434

Reported Deaths: 6575
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1009131586
Ramsey43165803
Dakota36375392
Anoka33335388
Washington22121258
Stearns18752201
St. Louis14822263
Scott13308107
Wright12538116
Olmsted1181788
Sherburne874172
Carver775640
Clay692387
Rice670791
Blue Earth596635
Kandiyohi579674
Crow Wing521282
Chisago499545
Otter Tail483270
Benton447790
Winona418549
Mower405731
Douglas393368
Nobles387247
Goodhue386269
Polk343763
McLeod340049
Beltrami338651
Morrison324747
Itasca313646
Lyon313644
Becker312542
Isanti306756
Steele301511
Carlton300149
Freeborn282623
Pine282016
Nicollet259241
Todd248330
Brown245537
Le Sueur235720
Mille Lacs227947
Cass220424
Waseca209317
Meeker207434
Martin189928
Wabasha18673
Roseau180317
Hubbard160740
Houston157414
Dodge15294
Renville150340
Redwood147027
Fillmore13768
Chippewa136735
Pennington136316
Cottonwood135020
Wadena131020
Faribault123417
Aitkin119033
Watonwan11758
Sibley117310
Rock115914
Kanabec107519
Pipestone101624
Yellow Medicine97617
Murray9488
Jackson93610
Swift87918
Pope8075
Marshall78015
Lake74218
Stevens7418
Clearwater71914
Lac qui Parle68516
Wilkin67411
Koochiching61911
Big Stone5163
Lincoln5092
Grant4918
Norman4788
Unassigned44568
Mahnomen4417
Kittson40921
Red Lake3625
Traverse3075
Lake of the Woods2191
Cook1180

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 335218

Reported Deaths: 5443
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk51785551
Linn19463313
Scott17080210
Black Hawk14924292
Woodbury13778212
Johnson1312174
Dubuque12416194
Dallas1019092
Pottawattamie9828143
Story959345
Warren511674
Clinton500784
Cerro Gordo498882
Webster494487
Sioux479169
Marshall463072
Des Moines427161
Muscatine424191
Buena Vista412237
Wapello4025108
Jasper386266
Plymouth367478
Lee354252
Marion339869
Jones284654
Henry279637
Bremer268754
Carroll266349
Crawford252235
Boone242830
Benton240354
Washington239047
Mahaska215246
Jackson209738
Dickinson202440
Tama202365
Kossuth198055
Delaware185540
Clay183825
Winneshiek182827
Fayette178635
Page177819
Buchanan176929
Wright173831
Hamilton173742
Cedar171523
Hardin169439
Harrison167169
Clayton159854
Butler158831
Mills147920
Floyd147741
Poweshiek147730
Lyon145541
Cherokee145336
Allamakee142347
Madison141918
Iowa139423
Hancock137630
Grundy132030
Winnebago130231
Calhoun129311
Cass128751
Jefferson128334
Appanoose123147
Louisa122341
Mitchell120440
Chickasaw119615
Union118731
Sac118318
Shelby116433
Emmet115040
Humboldt113525
Franklin109019
Guthrie108928
Palo Alto100921
Howard99021
Montgomery96736
Clarke94720
Keokuk92029
Monroe89428
Adair81028
Ida81032
Pocahontas80919
Davis76323
Monona76327
Greene72910
Lucas71421
Osceola68215
Worth6667
Taylor64112
Decatur5699
Fremont5599
Van Buren53718
Ringgold50520
Audubon4739
Wayne45821
Adams3184
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