Minnesota Inmate in Prison for Murder Kills Corrections Officer

July 19, 2018 Updated: July 19, 2018

An inmate in prison for murder killed a corrections officer at a Minnesota prison on Wednesday.

The murder happened at about 1:30 p.m. in an industry building at Stillwater, a state prison.

Joseph Gomm, the officer, was bludgeoned to death by inmate Edward Muhammad Johnson, who was serving a nearly 29-year sentence for second-degree murder, reported the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Sources told the Star-Tribune that Gomm was stabbed before being beaten to death by a hammer.

Johnson was convicted in 2003 of stabbing his 22-year-old roommate to death while her 5-year-old daughter watched.

After Gomm’s death, Johnson was transferred to Oak Park Heights, Minnesota’s only Level 5 maximum-security prison.

“Joseph gave the ultimate sacrifice while working to protect the citizens of Minnesota,” said Corrections Commissioner Tom Roy.

According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, Gomm had been a corrections officer in Minnesota for 16 years.

He was rushed to Regions Hospital in St. Paul after other workers discovered him but he was soon pronounced dead.

A source told CBS that other inmates blocked the door to the building—where inmates have work assignments in welding, carpentry, and other tasks—when other officers responded.

Gomm wasn’t armed, Roy said.

“The typical officer is issued what’s called pepper spray and radios. And when something bad goes down, the team is summoned and other officers are summoned, and it’s a fairly rapid response,” Roy said.

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People who lived near Gomm in Blaine said the death was tragic.

“I think it’s terrible and I think most of the people here think it’s really horrible,” said neighbor Mary Olson. “Nobody deserves to die in such a way.”

Governor Mark Dayton said in a statement that he was appalled by the murder.

“On behalf of all Minnesotans, I offer my deepest sympathies to Officer Gomm’s family, friends, and fellow corrections officers,” he said in a statement. “We are all indebted to the courageous corrections officers and other state employees, who risk their safety in Minnesota’s prisons to ensure the safety of their colleagues, our communities, and the inmates themselves.”

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