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3 officers injured, two armed suspects on the run in Idaho

3 officers injured, two armed suspects on the run in Idaho
Posted at 4:31 PM, Mar 20, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-21 13:09:52-04

Officers are looking for two "armed and dangerous" suspects after a shooting in the ambulance bay of Saint Alphonsus in what Boise Police Chief Ron Winegar called “a coordinated attack" and an "ambush on officers."

Ultimately an inmate escaped with a second suspect, and three corrections officers were injured by gunfire.

Officials say inmate Skylar Meade was exhibiting "self-injurious behavior" Tuesday night around 9:30 p.m. that needed emergency medical attention. Three officers took Meade to Saint Alphonsus where he was treated.

As Meade and officers were leaving the hospital around 2:15 a.m. preparing to transport Meade back to the Idaho Department of Corrections (IDOC), an unknown suspect fired shots at the officers, striking two of them. The identity of the alleged shooter is still unknown.

The two suspects left Saint Alphonsus in a gray four-door sedan, believed to be a Honda Civic with Idaho plates, shortly before police officers arrived at the scene.

As first responders arrived in response to calls of an active shooter, one officer fired his weapon at an armed person near the entrance, who was later determined to be an Department of Corrections employee. He was not seriously injured and is receiving treatment for his injuries.

Police Chief Ron Winegar said during a Wednesday news conference that Skylar Meade is a documented member of the Aryan Knights gang. Among his tattoos are the number 1 and number 11 on his cheeks.

Skylar Meade
Skylar Meade

While in custody, Meade was in administrative segregation, a form of restrictive housing for inmates who are a danger to others and themselves.

"There is not a higher level of custody that we manage," Corrections director Josh Tewalt said. “It’s a classification that’s earned by [an inmate's] behavior while in custody.”

Meade has been convicted of several crimes including 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 incarcerated since October 2016 and his most recent sentence was set to end October 2036.

The other suspect is Nicholas Umphenour.

Nicholas Umphenour
Nicholas Umphenour

The hospital was briefly placed on lockdown but has since resumed normal operations and all patients and staff are safe.

“I am grateful this harrowing incident did not result in loss of life, and we are monitoring the wounded IDOC officers with great hope for a full and speedy recovery of all involved,” said Boise Police Chief Ron Winegar. “We caution anyone who may have contact with the suspects involved in this violent attack and escape to call 911 immediately and not confront them personally. They are armed, dangerous, and have shown they are willing to use extreme violence in furtherance of their criminal activity.”

In total, three corrections officers were injured. One officer shot by the suspect is in critical but stable condition. The second officer shot by the suspect has serious but not life-threatening injuries. The third officer was injured during gunfire from a responding BPD officer and sustained injuries that are not life-threatening.

If you know anything about the situation, please call Ada County Dispatch at 208-377-6790.