Altoona, PA – A Blair County corrections officer was fatally shot by a fellow officer while struggling with an inmate who disarmed her inside the courthouse Wednesday afternoon.
The incident occurred at approximately 3:15 p.m. at the Blair County Dispatch Center and Central Court building located at 615 Fourth Street, The Patriot-News reported.
Police said an inmate who was inside the building for a court hearing somehow disarmed 47-year-old Blair County Corrections Officer Rhonda Jean Russell, leading to a physical altercation between the inmate and the officer.
An Altoona police officer rushed to her aid and ended up firing a weapon to stop the suspect from attacking the corrections officer, The Patriot-News reported.
The bullet the Altoona police officer fired hit Corrections Officer Russell.
The wounded corrections officer was rushed to WPMC Altoona, where she died of her injuries, The Patriot-News reported.
The Altoona officer involved in the incident has not been identified.
The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) are handling the ongoing investigation into the fatal officer-involved shooting, The Patriot-News reported.
The inmate’s name has not been released, but the PSP said he is facing charges of criminal homicide, kidnapping, attempted criminal homicide, and other related charges, according to the Altoona Mirror.
PSP Trooper Christopher Fox and Altoona Police Sergeant Matt Plummer said there was no ongoing threat to the neighborhood and that additional information will be released as it becomes available.
The court facility was immediately secured as the attack occurred, and remained closed Wednesday afternoon, the Altoona Mirror reported.
All other local magisterial district judge offices remained open, according to the paper.
Please keep the family of Rhonda Russell of Tyrone in your thoughts and prayers today. Rhonda was Blair County Corrections Officer who lost her life in the line of duty 😥 pic.twitter.com/Y1i8LKNJWJ
— Bill Latchford (@TyroneMayor) November 18, 2021
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