KETCHIKAN (AP) -- The corrections officer who shot and killed a felon Sunday during an attempted escape from the Ketchikan Correction Center appeared to have been justified in firing his weapon, according to a Department of Correction official.
Corrections special assistant Bruce Richards said he did not know what else Daniel Bates, a five-year veteran with the department, could have done to stop 38-year-old John Neil Ebling from escaping.
''I don't think the city of Ketchikan would appreciate him getting out of the center,'' Richards told the Ketchikan Daily News.
Ebling was convicted in November of two armed robberies as well as attempted murder, assault and weapons misconduct.
Richards said Ebling did not stop when ordered to halt. Ebling also failed to stop after Bates fired at him with rubber bullets.
After Ebling cleared a second 10-foot fence covered with razor wire, Bates shot him with live ammunition.
''All of this happened in a very short amount of time,'' Richards said. ''From start to finish, it was just a few minutes. It doesn't appear to me there were any other options.''
Richards said Bates apparently followed corrections procedures property.
''I don't see anything he could have done differently.'' Richards said.
Allowing Ebling to escape was not an option. Richards said he would rather explain why an inmate was shot than have harm come to the community.
State law provides for the use of deadly force when non-lethal force fails to keep a felon attempting to escape prison, Richards said.
Alaska State Troopers are investigating the shooting. Spokesman Greg Wilkinson said a three-member review board will determine whether the officer was justified in shooting Ebling.
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