A female prison officer is in stable condition after sustaining injuries when shots were fired at a prison van headed to court on the morning of Oct. 9, officials said this week.

The shooting was initially announced in a four-sentence press release police issued shortly after noon that day.

The release stated that the prison officer had been transported to the Dr. D. Orlando Smith Hospital to receive treatment, and it promised to provide more information “as it becomes available.”

NSC statement

Later that day, the National Security Council announced that it held an emergency meeting to review the prison-van attack and a separate incident that led to an arrest at the Elmore Stoutt High School the same day.

“The commissioner of police provided the NSC with an update on both incidents,” the statement noted. “The prison officer, who was injured, is in a stable, non-life-threatening condition at the [Dr.] D. Orlando Smith Hospital, and the attack on the prison van remains under investigation.”

After the NSC expressed concerns over the incidents, Police Commissioner Mark Collins ordered increased patrols, according to the statement.

Previous incident

The shooting came less than three weeks after another incident near His Majesty’s Prison in Balsam Ghut.

On Sept. 21, three men in hoodies dropped a bag of guns as they fled police near the facility, according to the Police Information Office.

No related arrests have been reported since then.

The week after the incident, the Governor’s Office responded to a Beacon query with a joint statement from Governor John Rankin and then-acting Health and Social Development Minister Dr. Karl Dawson.

On Sept. 21, they said, police informed HMP staff of a “security incident” near the prison.

“As a result of the incident, action was taken at the prison to further enhance security and to ensure the safety of both staff and prisoners,” the statement noted.

“We do not comment on specific security details. However, we can confirm that the security of the prison was not compromised in any way. Media reports of a prisoner being ‘let out’ of HMP Balsam Ghut are incorrect.”