A prisoner has escaped from custody in Idaho after an accomplice’s shooting spree. Here’s what we know

A manhunt is under way in Idaho after a prisoner serving a 20-year sentence for shooting at a sheriff during a high-speed car chase was busted out of hospital in a night-time raid by an armed accomplice.

Three correctional officers were shot and wounded in a chaotic firefight in the darkness – one of them hit by a police officer responding to the emergency call.

The dramatic breakout started at about 2.15am on the morning of Wednesday 20 March.

Prisoner Skylar Meade had been taken to Saint Alphonsus hospital in Boise for medical treatment. As officials tried to transport him from the facility, they were ambushed by a gunman who shot two of the correctional officers escorting him. One was said to be in critical condition while the other sustained minor injuries.

A third was hit by a police officer responding to the incident but is also reported not to have sustained serious injuries.

Now, officials are searching for Meade and the armed accomplice, whose identity is not publicly known. Boise Police Chief Ron Winegar called the men armed and dangerous.

Here’s everything we know about the case:

Who is Skylar Meade?

Meade has been incarcerated since October 2016. His most recent sentence is slated to end in 2036 October. He’s serving time for aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer with a firearm enhancement and has prior convictions, including felony possession of a controlled substance, grand theft and introduction of contraband into a correctional facility.

KTVB7 reported that Meade was convicted after shooting at a Twin Falls sheriff’s sergeant during a high-speed car chase. He had been fleeing a traffic stop. After later crashing his car he tried to flee on foot but was arrested. He was also convicted of possession of methamphetamine, illegal possession of a handgun, and having a shank at the county jail.

Image of Skylar Meade released by Boise Police following his escape from custody

(Boise Police)

He pleaded guilty to all the charges and was told he would have to spend 10 years in jail before being eligible for release.

How did he get away?

Officials say that the men left Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center before police backup arrived at the scene. They were able to leave the premises in a grey four-door sedan.

Chief Ron Winegar said: “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.

“When BPD officers responded, they believed the shooter was inside the Emergency Department. They immediately entered to address any potential continued threat to Emergency Room staff. I am grateful this harrowing incident did not result in loss of life, and we are monitoring the wounded IDOC officers with great hope for a full and speedy recovery of all involved.”

Who is the accomplice?

Police don’t appear to know who the accomplice is in the case but are encouraging anyone that might come into contact with the to stay vigilant. If noticed, officials said people should call 911 to report the men but should refrain from engaging with them.

Chief Winegar said: “We caution anyone who may have contact with the suspects involved in this violent attack and escape to call 911 immediately and not confront them personally. They are armed, dangerous, and have shown they are willing to use extreme violence in furtherance of their criminal activity.”

What are the conditions of the officers?

Of the three officers shot, one is in critical but stable condition, a second has serious but non-life-threatening injuries while the third is also receiving treatment for non-life-threatening injuries. All of the officials worked for the Idaho Department of Corrections.

The third officer was shot after backup arrived at the scene and mistook him for an armed man.

Anyone with information is asked to call Ada County Dispatch at 208-377-6790.

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