A 19-year-old serving a life sentence for killing three classmates in a 2012 school shooting has been captured soon after he escaped from prison, reports Ryan Parker of the L.A. Times.
TJ Lane reportedly escaped from the Allen Oakwood Correctional Institution with fellow prisoner Clifford Opperud.
Opperud, 45, is still at-large.
The two prisoners escaped with a third prisoner who has also been captured.
Lane was convicted of killing three people and wounding three others at Chardon High School in Ohio, where he was a student.
Police in the area were searching for the two men, who were reportedly wearing blue prison uniforms.
Lima police posted this description of the escapees on their Facebook page:
Allen Oakwood Correctional Institution is Ohio’s main psychiatric prison, as noted by Columbus Dispatch reporter Alan Johnson. The prison has 1,645 inmates and did not have any escapes last year.
Lane is dangerous and possibly mentally unstable. During his sentencing, he unbuttoned his shirt to reveal a white T-shirt that had the word “KILLER” scrawled across it, and he made a vulgar statement to the victims’ families in court.
Even his attorney can’t vouch for him:
Chardon police are offering the families of the school shooting victims around-the-clock protection, according to 19 Action News reporter Scott Taylor.
Chardon schools released a statement saying they are considering closing school tomorrow:
Lane has been disciplined seven times during his 18 months in prison, according to The Plain Dealer in Cleveland. His offenses include urinating on a wall, giving himself a tattoo, refusing to carry out a work-related or institutional assignment, and other similar offenses.
The other prisoner who escaped, Clifford Opperud, was serving a sentence for aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, and kidnapping.
Lane and the two other inmates escaped around 8 p.m., according to the Dispatch.
Authorities reportedly don’t believe the men are armed and they aren’t sure how they escaped from prison, according to The News-Herald.
The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction sent this statement to Business Insider:
The Allen Oakwood Correctional Institution has confirmed that Inmates Thomas Lane III, #A640654 and Clifford Opperud, #A579262 escaped from the Allen Oakwood Correctional Institution at approximately 7:40 p.m. Officials at the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC) are working closely with the Ohio State Highway Patrol and local law enforcement leaders to manage an extensive manhunt to apprehend the inmates.
“All available troopers from the Ohio State Highway Patrol have been joined by Allen County Sheriff’s deputies and local area law enforcement in establishing a perimeter and searching the area. A Patrol helicopter with advanced infrared detection equipment has been deployed and is engaged in the search as well. The public is encouraged to report any suspicious persons or possible sightings by calling 911,” said Ohio Department of Public Safety Director John Born.
It appears there might be some homes in the area that’s being searched:
Inmate escapes are rare in Ohio, but the state’s corrections department has had one other high-profile criminal slip from its grasp recently. Ariel Castro, the Cleveland man who kidnapped and held three women captive in his house for about a decade, committed suicide last year while serving his sentence in prison.
The prison that held Lane was at 115% capacity as of earlier this year, according to a report from the state’s corrections inspection committee. The facility was generally found to be up to standards, earning a “good” rating for safety and security.
The last time a felon escaped from an Ohio prison and wasn’t captured was in 1992, according to the corrections department’s website.
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