Escaped Idaho inmate and accomplice captured following ‘brazen’ ambush at hospital

Written by on March 21, 2024

Boise Police Department

(BOISE, Idaho) — An inmate who escaped from an Idaho hospital with an accomplice who opened fire on the correction officers transporting him in a “brazen” attack have been captured, Boise police said.

The Idaho Department of Correction inmate, Skylar Meade, and shooting suspect Nicholas Umphenour were located in the Twin Falls area around 2 p.m. MT Thursday, according to Boise Police Chief Ron Winegar.

They were taken into custody following a short vehicle pursuit, Winegar said.

State police are investigating two homicides that may be tied to this incident, according to Lt. Colonel Sheldon Kelley from the Idaho State Police. The homicides occurred at separate locations and involved two men, he said. Their cause of death has not been released.

The manhunt began early Wednesday, following what authorities described as a planned ambush. Meade had been transported to Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise Tuesday night for treatment after engaging in “self-injurious behavior,” according to Idaho Department of Correction director Josh Tewalt.

As correction officers were preparing to transport him back to the Idaho Maximum Security Institution around 2:15 a.m. Wednesday, an individual “attacked and fired” at the officers, striking two, Boise police said.

A third corrections officer was shot by a Boise officer who responded to reports of an active shooter inside the hospital’s emergency department, Boise police said. The officer fired his weapon at an armed individual near the entrance who was determined to be an Idaho Department of Correction officer, police said.

Investigators ultimately determined that Meade and his accomplice fled in a gray Honda Civic, just prior to Boise officers arriving, police said.

Umphenour is an “associate” of Meade, police said. The two, at one point, were in the same housing unit while at the Idaho Maximum Security Institution and were linked by “both having membership with the Aryan Knights,” according to Tewalt. Umphenour was released from custody in January, Tewalt said.

Amid the manhunt, officers on Wednesday obtained a warrant for Umphenour’s arrest on two charges of aggravated battery against law enforcement and one charge of aiding and abetting an escape, police said. The warrant has a $2 million bond.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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