Disturbing moment An Oklahoma City inmate armed with a handle takes guard hostage before being murdered
Oklahoma City authorities released a graphic video showing inmates dragging, hitting and stabbing a guard before police shot and killed someone who was holding a handle around the warden’s neck.
The violent incident occurred on the afternoon of March 27 at the Oklahoma County Detention Center and resulted in the death of 34-year-old inmate Curtis Williams.
Williams’ relatives and activists claimed the prisoner, who was in prison over rape and gun possession allegations, was murdered for complaining about the conditions in the prison, which was reportedly overcrowded and crawling with cockroaches and bed bugs.
The newly released video shows police and sheriff’s deputies entering the pod near the prison and shooting and killing Williams, who stood at the top of a landing and held a knife to the neck of jailer Daniel Misquez, who was on his knees.
Inmate Curtis Williams is seen in a security video while security guard Daniel Misquez is held hostage at the Oklahoma County Detention Center on March 27. Video was released after a deadly prison shooting.
This screenshot from the video shows Williams pressing a shaft into Misquez’s neck
In this photo from a video from the Oklahoma County Detention Center, jailer Daniel Misquez is stabbed by an inmate before police shoot and kill another inmate.
After Williams was shot, Misquez tumbled down the stairs and officers pulled him to safety and exited the pod on the 10th floor.
Deceased inmate Curtis Williams, 34, was accused of pressing homemade knife to guard’s neck
Misquez was hospitalized for non-life-threatening injuries after being beaten and stabbed several times.
Williams was the fifth inmate to die in prison this year, which has a long history of high staff turnover, overcrowding and escapes. Supervision of the lockup was transferred last year from the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office to a nine-member prison trust.
Activists protested outside the Oklahoma County Detention Center over the conditions last weekend and what they say is police brutal tactics.
Oklahoma City police chief Wade Gourley said Friday that one of the reasons his department released the video shortly after the shooting was because of recommendations from a community task force the mayor set up last year over concerns about policing.
The pod on the 10th floor of the prison houses nearly 40 inmates
Police officers and sheriff’s deputies storm the prison with guns drawn and opened fire on inmate Curtis Williams, killing him while holding Misquez hostage.
“We are going to try to release information earlier in the future,” he said.
Police identified the officers who shot Williams as Lieutenant Coy Gilbert, a 23-year veteran, and Officer Kevin Kuhlman, who has served five years. Both have been placed on administrative leave while an investigation is ongoing.
Gourley defended the officers’ decision to enter the pod and use force.
This photo shows what police say is the homemade knife that Williams used during the attack on the guard
“They have to try to save the hostage because of the situation,” Gourley said. “We can’t sit there and watch him be mistreated or possibly killed.”
Gourley said officers could not immediately look to Williams or provide assistance because the inmates were running free in the pod, which housed 37 inmates and was not secured.
“When this initially happened, the area was not safe,” said Gourley. “They had to reformulate a plan, reassemble it with less lethal and different devices to get in there.”
Williams’s family has criticized police and prison officials for handling the incident and has called for the two officers and Gourley to be fired.
“He shouldn’t have lost his life behind these circumstances here and the stress he was under,” Williams’ stepfather Donald Lambert told reporters Monday, the Oklahoman newspaper reported.
Gourley, who was hired as chief two years ago after 30 years in the department, said he has no plans to step down.
“I’m not quitting,” he said. ‘When I leave here, I will retire. I am a law enforcement officer with 32 years of experience, and I am not resigning. I have not seen anything here that could give cause for this. ‘