Thursday, 10 March 2016

Suspected Murderer who escaped jail killed after holding family

Rafael McCloud
A murder suspect who allegedly escaped from jail used restraints to hold a couple and their toddler hostage for hours before one of the couple managed to break free and attacked the suspect which resulted to his death, authorities revealed on Thursday.

The outlaw was identified as Rafael McCloud, 34, who escaped the Warren County jail a week ago by overcoming an officer with a homemade shank, setting off an intense manhunt. On Thursday around 4 a.m., authorities said McCloud rushed the man and an hours-long struggle ensued.

McCloud fought with the husband and wife, stabbing the man in the shoulder, Vicksburg Police Chief Walter Armstrong said. The wife also had injuries, but not enough to go to the hospital. The toddler was not hurt.

At some point, one of the couple managed to get a gun they had at the home and McCloud was shot in the head, the chief said. He did specify exactly who got free and how they did so.

The police were called at 7 a.m., more than two hours after the ordeal began.

The Police did not know of any connection between McCloud and the family, who lived on a street of small homes that runs along a ridge north of downtown Vicksburg. On side of the ridge looks out toward the Mississippi River, while the other looks onto part of the Vicksburg battlefield, a key position captured by Union soldiers during the Civil War.

At the one-story cream-brick house, a crime scene van was backed up to the single-car garage. The home is less than a mile from the jail.

Neighbor Mike Keck said his wife came home from her night shift at a medical research lab about 6 a.m. Thursday and neither of them had noticed anything out of the ordinary. They learned about the break-in about two hours later when officers knocked on their door.

"I was kind of surprised he was still in the area," Keck said of the escaped inmate. "I thought he would've tried to get as far away as possible. I'm glad to see it's finally over. We can be at ease now."

McCloud actually escaped March 2nd by using a homemade shank to get a jump on a jail officer and forced the officer to give up his keys, radio, pants and jacket, authorities said. He went out a door to freedom because the century-old jail in downtown Vicksburg has no perimeter fence.

Officials eventually searched the town for days, interviewing family members and friends of McCloud and poking through abandoned buildings. Schools bolstered security, and Vicksburg police warned people to bring in guns from vehicles and make sure their houses hadn't been forcibly entered.

McCloud was indicted on murder and rape charges in the January 2015 death of Sharen Wilson. He had been held in the jail since his June 29 arrest, and has prior felony convictions for auto burglary, grand larceny and armed robbery.

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