Third prison employee from attempted prison break passes away

Wendy Shannon (NC Department of Public Safety photo)

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. - A third employee at the Pasquotank Correctional Institution in Elizabeth City has died after the failed inmate escape attempt on Oct. 12.

Jerry Higgins with the N.C. Department of Public Safety said in a press release correctional officer Wendy Shannon passed away Monday evening at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Virginia from injuries suffered during the inmate escape attempt.

CLICK HERE to read and see a video from one employee about the escape attempt

"Our hearts are broken at the passing of Officer Shannon," said Department of Public Safety Secretary Erik A. Hooks. "Our deepest condolences go out to the Shannon family during this difficult time."

Shannon, 49, began her Department of Public Safety career at Pasquotank Correctional Institution in Oct. 21, 2013 as a correctional officer.

"I'm deeply saddened that this brutal attack has taken the life of Correctional Officer Wendy Shannon who was doing her job protecting the public," Gov. Roy Cooper said in a statement. "Our hearts go out to the victim, her family, friends and coworkers. Prisons and their employees help keep our communities safe, and I've directed state prison officials to take the necessary steps to improve prison safety."

Correctional Officer Justin Smith and Correction Enterprises Manager Veronica Darden died from injuries from the incident. Four inmates were charged with first-degree murder in connection with the incident.

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

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