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 1:02 AM
Updated: Jul 20, 2018 1:02 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.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 33068

Reported Deaths: 2068
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9524558
Lake3494175
Cass15897
Allen141966
St. Joseph122134
Hendricks114268
Hamilton113292
Elkhart110128
Johnson1092106
Madison58459
Porter50522
Bartholomew49034
Clark47941
LaPorte42022
Tippecanoe3823
Howard37824
Delaware37636
Jackson3721
Shelby36822
Hancock32727
Floyd31739
Boone30535
Morgan27724
Vanderburgh2592
Montgomery23417
White2308
Decatur22431
Clinton2221
Noble20421
Grant19721
Dubois1903
Harrison18921
Henry16910
Greene16824
Monroe16512
Warrick16528
Dearborn16521
Vigo1538
Lawrence15223
Miami1401
Putnam1357
Jennings1294
Orange12422
Scott1203
Ripley1106
Franklin1098
Kosciusko1011
Carroll933
Daviess8416
Steuben812
Marshall801
Newton7610
Wayne756
Fayette747
Wabash742
LaGrange682
Jasper661
Washington511
Jay490
Fulton471
Clay461
Rush452
Randolph453
Jefferson431
Pulaski410
Whitley383
Owen351
Sullivan341
DeKalb331
Brown331
Starke323
Perry280
Wells270
Benton260
Huntington262
Knox250
Tipton241
Crawford230
Blackford222
Parke190
Spencer191
Switzerland190
Fountain182
Posey160
Gibson142
Adams131
Ohio130
Warren121
Vermillion100
Martin90
Union80
Pike60
Unassigned0161

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 115833

Reported Deaths: 5186
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook753063519
Lake7933281
DuPage7460350
Kane6083167
Will5356268
Winnebago209153
McHenry148870
St. Clair105077
Kankakee83644
Kendall75119
Rock Island63923
Champaign5957
Madison54557
Boone42416
DeKalb3704
Sangamon34328
Randolph2674
Jackson25610
McLean21613
Ogle2002
Stephenson1992
Macon19219
Peoria1918
Out of IL1831
Clinton18017
Union1519
Unassigned1490
LaSalle14113
Whiteside13412
Iroquois1314
Coles12313
Warren1130
Jefferson10116
Knox960
Grundy952
Monroe9311
McDonough847
Lee791
Tazewell704
Cass690
Henry670
Williamson602
Marion500
Jasper457
Adams441
Macoupin442
Perry410
Pulaski410
Montgomery391
Vermilion381
Morgan341
Christian334
Jo Daviess320
Livingston322
Douglas260
Fayette203
Ford201
Jersey201
Menard190
Mason180
Washington180
Woodford182
Hancock160
Mercer160
Shelby161
Bureau151
Carroll142
Bond121
Franklin120
Piatt120
Schuyler120
Clark110
Crawford110
Fulton110
Brown100
Cumberland100
Logan100
Moultrie100
Wayne91
Alexander80
Henderson80
Johnson70
Massac70
Saline70
Effingham61
Greene50
Marshall50
De Witt40
Lawrence40
Richland30
Stark30
Clay20
Edwards20
Gallatin20
Hamilton20
Wabash20
White20
Calhoun10
Hardin10
Pike10
Pope10
Putnam10
Edgar00
Terre Haute
Overcast
70° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 70°
Robinson
Overcast
66° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 66°
Indianapolis
Overcast
67° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 67°
Rockville
Overcast
64° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 64°
Casey
Overcast
66° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 66°
Brazil
Overcast
70° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 70°
Marshall
Overcast
70° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 70°
Showers Early, Cooler
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events