Idaho manhunt underway after inmate escapes hospital, leaving 3 officers shot

Idaho authorities are looking for two suspects after an accomplice helped free a prison inmate from a Boise hospital, leaving three officers shot during the process. 

The Idaho Department of Corrections (IDOC) said the incident began early this morning after officers transported inmate Skylar Meade to Saint Alphonsus for medical treatment. 

As officers were preparing to transport Meade back to prison, an unknown gunman opened fire, hitting two officers. 


Skylar Meade and the suspected getaway car (Credit: Boise Police Department)

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Boise police responded to the active shooter threat at the hospital. One officer fired his gun at another armed officer, believing that he was the suspect. 

The hospital was put on a lockdown as officers searched the area for the suspects. 

Authorities said Meade and the shooting suspect got into a grey four-door sedan and left the area. 

"This brazen, violent, and apparently coordinated attack on Idaho Department of Corrections personnel, to facilitate an escape of a dangerous inmate, was carried out right in front of the Emergency Department, where people come for medical help, often in the direst circumstances," Boise Police Chief Ron Winegar said in a written statement.

A hospital spokesperson said the shooting happened in the ambulance bay by its emergency department.

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"All patients and staff are safe, the medical center campus is safe and secure, and has resumed normal operations. The Emergency Department itself is currently under temporary lockdown while the Boise Police Department completes the investigation," Leticia Ramirez said Wednesday morning in a statement.

Authorities said Meade has been serving time for aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer with a firearm enhancement and has prior convictions including felony possession of a controlled substance, grand theft, and introduction of contraband into a correctional facility.

He has been behind bars since October 2016, and he was set to be released in October 2036.

As for the injured officers, one remains in critical and stable condition. Another one was serious but non-life-threatening injures. The third office was also being treated for non-life-threatening injures. 

Boise police are leading the search for the two outstanding suspects. The Ada County Sheriff's Office is leading the Ada County Critical Incident Taskforce (CITF) investigation into the officer-involved shooting.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.