The Latest: Escapee tried to get in school before recapture

AP News
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Posted: Dec 08, 2016 12:31 PM

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on an inmate who escaped from a maximum-security South Carolina prison and is suspected of stabbing a police officer (all times local):

12:20 p.m.

Authorities say an escaped inmate suspected of stabbing a police officer tried to get into a school just before he was arrested.

Lexington Police Maj. Matt Davis said 47-year-old Michael Allen Williamson was wearing all black clothes and a black stocking mask Thursday when an officer alerted by a parent at a nearby school stopped Williamson to question him.

Davis says Williamson ran from the officer and tried to get inside Northside Christian Academy, but the doors were locked. He then surrendered without fighting.

Authorities say Williamson escaped from McCormick Correctional Institution in a food delivery truck Wednesday night and stabbed a Columbia police officer investigating him on a shoplifting complaint a few hours later.

The officer has been released from the hospital.

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11:30 a.m.

Authorities say an escaped inmate suspected of stabbing a South Carolina police officer has been recaptured about five miles from the store where the attack happened.

Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook says officers found 47-year-old Michael Allen Williamson at around 10:45 a.m. Thursday in Lexington.

Holbrook says Williamson did not resist being arrested and told officers he was the escaped inmate they were looking for.

Corrections director Bryan Stirling says his agency thinks Williamson might have escaped McCormick Correctional Institution in a food delivery truck at around 8:50 p.m. Wednesday but wouldn't give more details until an investigation makes more progress. About an hour later, authorities say Williamson stabbed a Columbia police officer investigating a shoplifting at an area Walmart.

Holbrook says Officer Ashley Hardesty was released from the hospital after being treated for stab wounds to the shoulder and arm and was in good spirits.

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5:35 a.m.

South Carolina authorities are searching for an escaped maximum-security inmate who's suspected of stabbing a police officer.

Dexter Lee of the South Carolina Department of Corrections say 47-year-old Michael Allen Williamson escaped at around 8:50 p.m. Wednesday from McCormick Correctional Institution.

Later that night, Columbia police officials say a female officer responding to a shoplifting call was stabbed inside a Walmart store in Columbia, South Carolina, about 80 miles east of McCormick.

Lee says authorities think Williamson stabbed the officer but are still investigating. Police said in a news release that the officer is recovering from her injuries.

Williamson began serving a life sentence for armed robbery and assault and battery with intent to kill in 1997. Lee says authorities are still investigating how Williamson got out of the prison.