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Idaho inmate escapes during ‘coordinated’ shooting attack on officers at hospital; 3 injured

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A “dangerous” inmate in Idaho escaped from custody at a hospital early Wednesday after a second suspect ambushed officers and opened fire, striking two, authorities said.

The shooting unfolded at 2:15 a.m. as Idaho Department of Corrections (IDOC) officers were getting ready to return inmate Skylar Meade to jail after he received medical treatment at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, the Boise Police Department said.

An unknown suspect attacked and fired at the officers. One officer struck was in critical but stable condition, while the other officer sustained serious but non-life-threatening injuries. 

A third IDOC officer was injured after Boise police responded and fired at an armed individual near the hospital entrance. The IDOC officer was not seriously injured and received treatment.

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“This brazen, violent, and apparently coordinated attack on Idaho Department of Corrections personnel, to facilitate an escape of a dangerous inmate, was carried out right in front of the Emergency Department, where people come for medical help, often in the direst circumstances,” Boise Police Chief Ron Winegar said in a written statement.

The hospital had been placed on a temporary lockdown after the “shooting incident” happened in the ambulance bay by the emergency department, hospital spokeswoman Leticia Ramirez said.

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“All patients and staff are safe, the medical center campus is safe and secure, and has resumed normal operations,” Ramirez said in a statement to The Associated Press. Ramirez added that the hospital is stepping up security, closing all entrances until further notice.

Police said the two wanted suspects were last seen traveling in a gray four-door sedan, possibly a Honda Civic, with ID plates. Both suspects are said to be armed and dangerous. 

Meade was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2017 for firing shots at a Twin Falls sheriff’s sergeant during a high-speed chase. His prior convictions include felony possession of a controlled substance, grand theft, and introduction of contraband into a correctional facility.

The identity of the second suspect was not immediately provided.

Authorities asked anyone with information about the incident or the suspects to call Ada County Dispatch at 208-377-6790.

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