Guard shoots and kills inmate who escaped

Posted: Tuesday, January 02, 2001

KETCHIKAN (AP) -- A jail guard shot and killed an inmate after he climbed two fences and escaped from a recreation yard, Alaska State Troopers said.

John Neil Henry Ebling, 38, was outside Ketchikan Correctional Facility on Sunday when a guard in a tower warned him to stop, said Greg Wilkinson, a spokesman for the troopers.

Ebling, convicted of attempted murder in 1999, kept going, Wilkinson said.

''The tower guard fires and hits him,'' he said.

Ebling was taken to Ketchikan General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, troopers said.

Ebling had been in the prison yard with other inmates about 2 p.m. and then tried climbing the first of two fences, Wilkinson said.

Guards yelled for him to stop and then fired rubber bullets. After Ebling cleared the first fence, guards began firing live rounds, troopers said. Ebling continued over the second fence.

Ebling was convicted of attempted murder, robbery and other charges stemming from incidents in 1999. He was arrested after an all-night manhunt and a shootout with police at a motel.

''He got into a gunbattle with police and troopers,'' Wilkinson said. ''He fired a flare gun at troopers and hit a guy.'' The injury was not serious, he said.

On Saturday, an inmate at the city jail in Anchorage was strangled after getting in a dispute with another inmate over a pillow and later spilling some hot chocolate.

Alaska State Troopers said victim Thomas Elijah Sage, 49, and suspect Terry Ray Stromme, 22, apparently did not know each other. Stromme, who is being held at the Cook Inlet Pre-Trial Facility, was to be arraigned on a first-degree murder charge on Monday.



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