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Prison escapee shot and killed, police say

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Kelvin Poke was shot and killed by police, authorities say
  • He was found around 3:30 p.m. in a Ford Explorer, police say
  • On Tuesday, he overpowered guard, took gun, fled hospital, police say
  • Escapee was serving life term plus 40 years
  • Next Article in Crime »
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LAUREL, Maryland (CNN) -- A prisoner who overpowered five security guards at a suburban hospital, took their weapons, shot a driver and then stole several cars has been shot and killed by police, authorities said Wednesday.

Maryland prisoner Kelvin Poke escaped custody during treatment at a hospital.

Kelvin Poke -- who is from the Prince George's County area and has "associates" in Washington -- was found by Prince George's County police shortly before 3:30 p.m. in a Ford Explorer accompanied by a woman, said Greg Shipley, a spokesman for the Maryland State Police.

"There was a confrontation between the suspect and the Prince George's County police," Shipley told reporters.

The confrontation occurred in Cedar Hill Cemetery outside Washington, he said, adding that the woman may be the owner of the vehicle.

Officials strapped the 6-foot-3, 255-pound, shirtless, shoeless inmate to a gurney and took him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The 45-year-old prisoner was taken out of Jessup Correctional Institution shortly after noon Tuesday when he complained of chest pains, Shipley said.

Two guards took the convict, who was serving life plus 40 years for kidnapping, carjacking and robbery, to Maryland's Laurel Regional Hospital -- about 8 miles from the maximum-security facility, said Shipley.

About 8:15 a.m. Wednesday, on the hospital's fourth floor, Poke "overpowered a correctional officer" and took his .38-caliber revolver, Shipley said.

Poke, who was not wearing handcuffs, then fired one of the weapons in an apparently successful attempt to free himself from his leg shackles, Shipley added.

Two other correctional officers -- who had been escorting another prisoner to the hospital -- entered the room, where Poke disarmed the one carrying a weapon, said Shipley.

When an unarmed hospital security guard who had heard the shootings entered the room, Poke forced him to accompany him to the ground floor, leaving one of his guns en route, Shipley said.

Once the two men reached the parking lot, Poke turned his attention to a 51-year-old man who was waiting in his Toyota Camry to pick up a relative who was working at the hospital, Shipley said.

Poke fired at least one shot, striking the driver in the head, pulled him from the car and drove off, Shipley said. Video Watch Shipley detail the escape »

The man "is doing well," Shipley added.

The hospital -- which is located just east of Interstate 95, about midway between Washington and Baltimore -- was briefly placed on lockdown.

The Camry was recovered shortly before 1 p.m. in Washington. A small fire was burning inside the vehicle, Shipley said.


About that same time, another carjacking occurred in the same area, he added. In that incident, a 2005 white Ford Explorer Sport Trac with Washington license plate DC3690 was carjacked, he said.

Another prisoner escaped from the Laurel hospital in November after taking a state trooper's gun and was captured a few hours later. Asked why security procedures had not been tightened sufficiently after the first incident, Shipley said, "We'll certainly be looking into that." E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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