Fourth prison worker dies from injuries in Pasquotank Prison attack

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Friday, November 3, 2017
Geoffrey Howe
Geoffrey Howe

ELIZABETH CITY, North Carolina (WTVD) -- Geoffrey Howe, a maintenance mechanic for Pasquotank Correctional Institution, died Thursday at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital from injuries suffered during a failed inmate escape attempt on October 12.

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"Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to the Howe family," said Department of Public Safety Secretary Erik A. Hooks. "This tragedy has horribly impacted the lives of four families., as well as co-workers and friends."

Howe is the fourth person to pass away from injuries suffered in that incident.

Correctional officers Justin Smith and Wendy Shannon, as well as Correction Enterprises Sewing Plant Manager Veronica Darden, died from injuries received during the incident.

Howe, 31, celebrated his one-year anniversary with the Department of Public Safety in August.

"Geoffrey Howe was a valued member of his community and his workplace and he will be greatly missed," Gov. Roy Cooper said in a statement. "We send our heartfelt sympathies to his loved ones and wish for them comfort during this difficult time. We owe it to Geoffrey and his fallen coworkers to do all we can to keep an attack like the one that claimed their lives from ever happening inside our prisons again, and that's what I've directed prison leaders to do."

The prison continues to be on lockdown. Members of the Prison Emergency Response Team from other state prison facilities continue to assist the local prison staff.

Four inmates were charged with first-degree murder in connection with the incident.

Pasquotank Correctional Institution currently houses approximately 676 male inmates in close, medium and minimum custody.