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Two NC prison workers remain in critical condition after attack

Two employees were still in critical condition Saturday morning, while a third employee’s condition was upgraded from critical to fair following an attempted prison escape in Elizabeth City on Thursday, Oct. 12.
Two employees were still in critical condition Saturday morning, while a third employee’s condition was upgraded from critical to fair following an attempted prison escape in Elizabeth City on Thursday, Oct. 12. Thomas J. Turney

Two state prison employees remained in critical condition Saturday, while a third employee’s condition was upgraded from critical to fair following an attempted prison escape in Elizabeth City on Thursday.

They were among several people injured in the thwarted escape and attack on employees at Pasquotank Correctional Institution that left two workers dead.

The violence began Thursday afternoon when a group of inmates started a fire in the prison’s sewing plant, where prisoners produced embroidered logo items, safety vests and other items used for government agencies.

Once the fire was started, several inmates attempted to escape but were unsuccessful, the state Department of Public Safety said.

During their attempted escape, the inmates attacked prison workers with hammers and stabbed them with scissors, according to 911 calls.

Guard Justin Smith and Correction Enterprises manager Veronica Darden were killed in the attack.

Several other people were hospitalized, including three employees — guard Wendy Shannon, guard George Midgett, and maintenance worker Geoffrey Howe — who were in critical condition. Midgett’s status was upgraded to fair, while Shannon and Howe were still in critical condition, TV station WAVY reported.

LaVendrick Smith; 704-358-5101; @LaVendrickS

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