A shootout in the lobby of Tallahassee's federal prison has prompted some big changes in Washington. The Bureau of Prisons revealed it will begin searching employees at FCI to make sure they aren't carrying contraband, much less guns that can be turned on federal agents.
It's been one week since a gun fight erupted in the lobby of Tallahassee's federal prison, claiming the life of a federal agent and the prison guard he went to arrest.
Michael Folmar, FBI special agent and spokesperson, said, "These agents were out just trying to do their job, tying to do an arrest in a controlled situation, and it just didn't go down exactly as planned."
The FBI said prison guard Ralph Hill shot the federal agent with a gun he sneaked into the prison, knowing he wouldn't be searched on the way in or out.
Last week the Bureau of Prisons said it was reevaluating its policy on searching staff. Now it revealed it will begin searching them as soon as it works out the details with the union.
Tim Jansen, Ralph Hill's attorney, said, "It was a shock that all this took place, especially in a federal prison."
The shooting happened as federal agents went to arrest six guards accused in a sex-for-favors conspiracy.
Neither the FBI nor the Federal Bureau of Prisons will divulge how many shots were fired that day, nor will they confirm or deny whether it was all captured on videotape by surveillance cameras posted near the front door.
A Bureau of Prisons spokesman contends the staff search policy had been agreed upon even before the Tallahassee shootout, but that's an about face from what it said last week.
As for the guards arrested, three remain behind bars. Two others are free on bond. A federal grand jury is expected to reconvene in a few weeks to consider adding more charges to that 13-page indictment.
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