A federal prisoner from the D. Ray James private prison in Folkston died after he was shot by a corrections officer Tuesday morning at a medical office pavilion in Kingsland, according to Kingsland police.
Larry Marcell Jr., the 33-year-old inmate, along with two other inmates, had been taken to Kings Bay Professional Plaza on Gross Road for a routine medical treatment. They were in a secure prison transport van with two corrections officers.
Police said there was an altercation in the back parking lot in which one of the officers was attacked about 9:40 a.m.
Marcell was secured by handcuffs, a waist chain and leg irons at the time, police said.
"That's the standard that they all travel with," said Lt. Todd Tetterton, of the Kingsland Police Department.
Police said when Marcell got out of the van, he attacked one of the corrections officers and was able to wrestle partial control of the officer's firearm away from him.
During the altercation, Marcell gained control of the officer's weapon and was able to fire the weapon, police said. They said their initial investigation showed the gunfire struck the ground and did not injure anyone.
The second corrections officer fired his weapon, striking Marcell twice and incapacitating him.
Marcell was flown to Shands Jacksonville Medical Center in critical condition. He underwent emergency surgery but later died.
No officers were hurt in the shooting.
Katherine Stokes, a patient at the doctor's office, was inside when the shooting happened.
"I signed in and was told, 'Don't leave the building,' so obviously as I was getting on the elevator, he must have been escaping," Stokes said. "I was pretty much just like, 'What's going on now,' because we pretty much just had the basics: 'OK, a prisoner's loose, doors are locked, nobody leaves this building.'"
Stokes said that from the second floor, she didn't hear any gunfire, but that could be because it happened behind the building.
Kingsland police and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation were investigating.
D. Ray James prison is privately run and is under contract by the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Marcell was a suspect in a Columbia County, Fla., gas station robbery in August and was arrested by federal agents in South Florida.
Investigators said Marcell was carrying a rifle when he robbed the store in Ellisville on Aug. 22. He was arrested Aug. 25 in Hillsborough County by the U.S. Marshals Service who were acting on a warrant.
Marcell had been linked to other armed robberies across the state.