White supremacist captured after bloody prison break

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The hospital crime sceneImage source, Getty Images

Idaho police have captured two white supremacist gang members who have been linked to two homicides since a prison break on Wednesday.

Fugitive inmate Skylar Meade and alleged accomplice Nicholas Umphenour were caught in Twin Falls, Idaho.

Three officers were injured when Umphenour allegedly ambushed guards while they took Meade back to prison from a hospital.

Police say both men are members of a prison gang – the Aryan Knights.

They say it is unclear whether the escape was a “gang-sanctioned event”.

Officials said the pair are suspected to have been involved in two homicides while on the run since Wednesday.

Idaho State Police Lt Col Sheldon Kelley said prison shackles were found at the scene of one of the killings. Both victims were males in rural northern Idaho.

Meade and Umphenour were taken into custody after a brief car chase on Thursday afternoon. Police say they were found driving a Honda Civic that belonged to one of the two victims.

Meade escaped from the Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise after being taken there for “self-injurious” behaviour, Josh Tewalt, director of the state’s Department of Correction, said in a news conference on Thursday.

Umphenour ambushed prison staff early on Wednesday morning opening fire on them while Meade was being transported from hospital back to the Idaho Maximum Security Institution.

Umphenour was released earlier this year from the same prison. Investigators say the two men had lived in the same housing unit there.

Mr Tewalt said it was unclear to what degree the escape was co-ordinated, and that prison officials were now taking steps “to mitigate the damage that gangs can do”.

“Independent of their actions, we work hard every day to try and disrupt any organised criminal activity that happens in our facilities,” he said.

Two correction officers were shot by the gunman during Meade’s escape. One had non-life-threatening injuries and another was in a critical but stable condition.

A third prison guard was injured by gunfire when a responding police officer fired into the emergency department.

Meade has been in prison since 2016 for aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer with a firearm.

He also has several previous convictions, including grand theft and felony possession of a controlled substance.

He was scheduled to be released in 2036.

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