UPDATE: Officer killed in Minnesota prison

Officer had just celebrated his 16th year on the job.

Posted: Jul 18, 2018 4:34 PM
Updated: Jul 18, 2018 7:39 PM

BAYPORT, Minn. (AP) — A corrections officer died Wednesday after authorities say he was assaulted by an inmate at Minnesota's flagship Stillwater state prison. The death prompted a lockdown at Minnesota's prison system.

Officer Joseph Gomm was attacked by an offender at the state's flagship prison at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, the Minnesota Department of Corrections said. Gomm was taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul but was pronounced dead at the hospital, the department said.

"The corrections family is reeling from this incident," state Corrections Commissioner Tom Roy told reporters. "We are not accustomed to losing staff."

Roy declined to identify the inmate, who was serving time for homicide. He said the inmate was believed to be "the lone perpetrator."

The attack happened in the prison's industry building, which houses a welding shop and carpentry programs. Authorities did not give details about the assault. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has arrived at the prison to investigate, Roy said.

Roy called Gomm "a fine man doing honorable work" who had just celebrated his 16th year as a corrections officer the previous day.

Mark Groves, president of the Minnesota Corrections Association, said the union was "deeply saddened" by Gomm's death but referred questions to the Department of Corrections.

Roy, the corrections commissioner, said the Stillwater prison, and others in the system, are on lockdown in "an abundance of caution" while authorities assess whether the attack was an isolated incident. He said he did not expect the lockdown to continue.

A corrections officer was assaulted earlier this year at the prison. Stillwater has two levels of security, minimum and "close." The latter ranks just below maximum security. Roy said the prison had 1,616 prisoners, about one-third of them serving homicide sentences.

In March, assaults by inmates at the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Oak Park Heights sent 10 employees to the hospital. Last month, the maximum security prison was placed on lockdown after an inmate attacked a corrections officer, causing serious injuries.

Governor Mark Dayton issued the following statement on Gomm's death:  “I am appalled at the horrific murder of Officer Joseph Gomm. On behalf of all Minnesotans, I offer my deepest sympathies to Officer Gomm’s family, friends, and fellow Corrections Officers. We pray that they find strength and solace at this very difficult time.

“We are all indebted to the courageous Corrections Officers and other state employees, who risk their safety in Minnesota's prisons to ensure the safety of their colleagues, our communities, and the inmates themselves. Minnesotans are grateful for your selfless service, and we mourn with you the loss of your colleague and friend.”

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 57162

Reported Deaths: 1660
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin18197820
Ramsey7047261
Dakota4049103
Anoka3410113
Stearns284220
Washington193843
Nobles17496
Olmsted163523
Scott141017
Mower10842
Rice10028
Blue Earth8595
Wright8205
Carver7922
Clay75240
Kandiyohi6771
Sherburne6577
St. Louis45319
Todd4202
Lyon4163
Freeborn3551
Steele3331
Nicollet32013
Benton3103
Watonwan2990
Winona24916
Crow Wing21313
Martin2045
Le Sueur2021
Beltrami2000
Chisago1821
Otter Tail1793
Goodhue1778
Cottonwood1730
Becker1471
Pipestone1439
McLeod1400
Unassigned14040
Polk1353
Itasca13412
Douglas1320
Waseca1300
Pine1280
Carlton1260
Dodge1230
Murray1221
Isanti1100
Chippewa991
Brown852
Faribault840
Meeker832
Morrison821
Wabasha820
Sibley802
Rock750
Koochiching743
Pennington731
Jackson700
Mille Lacs683
Cass622
Fillmore610
Renville605
Lincoln540
Swift521
Grant511
Yellow Medicine490
Roseau460
Pope450
Houston390
Norman370
Hubbard320
Redwood320
Marshall290
Kanabec281
Wilkin283
Aitkin270
Mahnomen241
Wadena230
Big Stone220
Red Lake200
Lake180
Stevens160
Clearwater150
Traverse100
Lac qui Parle60
Kittson30
Cook20
Lake of the Woods10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 46100

Reported Deaths: 887
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk9781203
Woodbury365651
Black Hawk302262
Linn214587
Johnson195915
Dallas179635
Buena Vista178612
Scott161512
Dubuque154929
Marshall139424
Pottawattamie122723
Story111714
Wapello85032
Muscatine83048
Webster7366
Crawford7213
Sioux6022
Cerro Gordo57917
Tama53929
Warren5341
Jasper45825
Wright4441
Plymouth4438
Louisa37814
Dickinson3754
Clinton3213
Washington28810
Hamilton2411
Boone2312
Franklin2256
Bremer1927
Clarke1883
Carroll1821
Emmet1812
Clay1711
Shelby1691
Hardin1660
Marion1550
Allamakee1504
Poweshiek1508
Benton1451
Jackson1411
Des Moines1392
Mahaska13617
Floyd1312
Guthrie1285
Jones1242
Cedar1201
Hancock1172
Butler1152
Buchanan1141
Henry1143
Pocahontas1141
Lyon1060
Madison1052
Clayton993
Cherokee981
Harrison980
Lee973
Taylor930
Humboldt921
Delaware911
Iowa901
Monona900
Winneshiek861
Mills830
Calhoun822
Fayette810
Sac810
Palo Alto800
Kossuth780
Osceola780
Jefferson770
Winnebago770
Mitchell760
Page760
Grundy741
Union721
Monroe677
Worth610
Chickasaw510
Davis501
Lucas504
Howard490
Cass481
Montgomery453
Appanoose433
Greene380
Fremont350
Van Buren331
Keokuk311
Ida290
Audubon281
Decatur220
Adair210
Ringgold211
Wayne181
Adams160
Unassigned00
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