4th prison staffer dies


Geoffrey Howe, 31, a maintenance mechanic at Pasquotank Correctional Institution, has died from injuries he suffered in a failed inmate escape from the prison on Oct. 12, the N.C. Department of Public Safety said Thursday evening.


From staff reports

Thursday, November 2, 2017

A fourth prison employee has died from injuries he suffered in last month’s failed inmate escape at Pasquotank Correctional Institution. 

Geoffrey Howe, 31, a maintenance mechanic for the former Correction Enterprises sewing plant at PCI, died Thursday at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, a press release from the N.C. Department of Public Safety said Thursday evening. 

“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.”

Gov. Roy Cooper also issued a statement about Howe’s death on Thursday.

“Geoffrey Howe was a valued member of his community and his workplace and he will be greatly missed,” Cooper said. “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."

Howe’s death follows that of Correctional officers Justin Smith and Wendy Shannon, as well as Correction Enterprises Sewing Plant Manager Veronica Darden. Darden and Smith died the day of the attack. Shannon died Monday from injuries she suffered in the attack.

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

Four inmates have been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the failed escape.

Pasquotank Correctional Institution continues to be on lockdown, Public Safety officials said. Members of the Prison Emergency Response Team from other state prison facilities continue to assist the local prison staff.

PCI currently houses approximately 676 male inmates in close, medium and minimum custody.