Two inmates, including one alleged killer, escaped from a prison in Philadelphia on Sunday night by cutting a hole in the fence, authorities said. Officials did not learn of their escape until the following afternoon, CBS Philadelphia reported, citing the city’s police department.
Police identified the inmates as 18-year-old Ameen Hurst, who is accused in the shooting deaths of four people, and 24-year-old Nasir Grant. They broke out of the Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center after 8 p.m. eastern time on Sunday, when the pair were last seen. Authorities later observed Hurst and Grant in video footage cutting a hole in a fence on the prison grounds in order to make their escape.
Philadelphia Prisons Commissioner Blanche Carney said both inmates were accounted for at the correctional center at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, although they missed the next three head counts at 11 p.m. that night, and 3 a.m. and 7 a.m. on Monday morning. Carney told CBS Philadelphia that Grant and Hurst appeared to be inside the prison during those three missed counts, and why neither was listed as missing, since they were not present, is under investigation.
Carney said law enforcement is coordinating with the U.S. Marshals Service to locate Hurst and Grant and return them to custody, according to CBS Philadelphia.
“We are adamant and working tirelessly to get these two individuals back into custody, and that is the focus of our investigation,” Carney said in a statement to the station. “As we go through these processes, we have protocols in place and those protocols were not followed, so that will be a part of our investigation.”
Hurst was charged in four separate homicides, allegedly carried out between Christmas Eve 2020 and March 2021. All four killings involved gun violence, police said. He is accused in the shooting deaths of 20-year-old Dyewou Nyshawn Scruggs, 24-year-old Naquon Smith, 16-year-old Tamir Brown and 20-year-old Rodney Hargrove.
Two others were wounded in the shooting that killed Smith and Brown, CBS Philadelphia reported. Deputy Commissioner Frank Vanore described Hurst as “a very dangerous individual from what we know” in comments to the station.
Grant was in custody for narcotics violations, theft and firearm charges, the deputy commissioner said.