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

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Cases: 582576

Reported Deaths: 7284
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1208311715
Ramsey50357867
Dakota45046442
Anoka40774432
Washington26338278
Stearns21901220
St. Louis17502302
Scott16980124
Wright15722135
Olmsted1309797
Sherburne1139484
Carver1031645
Clay807492
Rice7952106
Blue Earth739241
Crow Wing651888
Kandiyohi647282
Chisago581051
Otter Tail567578
Benton560197
Goodhue470872
Mower460332
Douglas459574
Winona448450
Itasca417953
McLeod417258
Morrison413660
Isanti408262
Nobles406748
Beltrami387358
Steele381015
Polk379567
Becker375449
Lyon357650
Carlton340353
Freeborn339529
Pine323521
Nicollet320943
Brown303040
Mille Lacs297152
Le Sueur285322
Todd277431
Cass265528
Meeker250140
Waseca235721
Martin227731
Roseau205019
Wabasha20313
Hubbard183341
Dodge18133
Renville178043
Redwood170836
Houston169215
Cottonwood162721
Fillmore153810
Pennington153319
Wadena152321
Chippewa151338
Faribault149919
Kanabec142424
Sibley140910
Aitkin133136
Watonwan13009
Rock127219
Jackson121211
Pipestone113826
Yellow Medicine113520
Pope10806
Murray10559
Swift103918
Stevens88511
Marshall87417
Clearwater85716
Koochiching81314
Lake80619
Wilkin79812
Lac qui Parle74922
Big Stone5934
Lincoln5733
Grant5648
Mahnomen5408
Norman5379
Unassigned48893
Kittson48122
Red Lake3957
Traverse3685
Lake of the Woods3183
Cook1560

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 364579

Reported Deaths: 5902
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk57228619
Linn20701333
Scott19754239
Black Hawk15746307
Woodbury15087228
Johnson1439083
Dubuque13322209
Dallas1109597
Pottawattamie11036166
Story1054248
Warren572988
Clinton551692
Cerro Gordo535689
Sioux512474
Webster510892
Marshall480875
Muscatine473899
Des Moines451466
Wapello4283122
Buena Vista424140
Jasper413070
Plymouth400179
Lee372355
Marion360075
Jones296857
Henry290437
Carroll284752
Bremer282460
Crawford264340
Boone262334
Benton254955
Washington253050
Dickinson247343
Mahaska229250
Jackson220742
Clay214725
Kossuth214764
Tama208871
Delaware208040
Winneshiek196433
Page192121
Buchanan190431
Cedar188823
Fayette184441
Hardin184443
Wright183336
Hamilton179249
Harrison179173
Clayton168756
Butler163834
Mills161321
Madison160319
Floyd159542
Cherokee158338
Lyon157541
Poweshiek154633
Allamakee150351
Iowa147924
Hancock146434
Winnebago140831
Cass137654
Grundy135932
Calhoun135813
Emmet133740
Jefferson132135
Shelby130537
Sac130019
Appanoose128047
Louisa127849
Union127632
Mitchell125642
Chickasaw123615
Guthrie120729
Humboldt118726
Franklin116421
Palo Alto112123
Howard104122
Montgomery102737
Unassigned10070
Clarke99624
Keokuk95331
Monroe95028
Ida90334
Adair86232
Pocahontas85422
Monona82830
Davis81324
Osceola77916
Greene77610
Lucas76823
Worth7348
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Decatur6059
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