Inmate Charged in Corrections Officer's Death

August 02, 2018 06:18 PM

An inmate at the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Stillwater has been charged in the death of corrections officer Joseph Gomm.


Forty-two-year-old Edward Muhammad Johnson is charged with second-degree non-firearm murder and second-degree non-firearm assault, according to a criminal complaint.

RELATED: KSTP's Coverage of Officer Joseph Gomm's Death

The complaint states officers and medical personnel responded to a call of a staff assault at the prison just after 1:30 p.m. July 18.

Responders found Gomm with substantial injuries to his head and face in the M Shop on the third floor of Building 20.

Gomm was transported to Regions Hospital, where he later died. His cause of death was listed as multiple blunt force injuries to his head. He also had two puncture wounds to his chest, according to the complaint.

RELATED: Minnesota Prison Union Calls for Changes after Officer Death

After interviewing more than 50 witnesses, investigators identified Johnson as the attacker.

A shop foreman at the prison said an inmate approached him and told him, "(Officer Gomm) needs help." The foreman went to the M Shop, where he said he saw Johnson striking Gomm in the head with a hammer.

RELATED: Former Corrections Officer Says 'It's Only Going to Get Worse' if Policies Don't Change

The foreman told Johnson to stop, and Johnson allegedly swung the hammer at him. The foreman retreated to a nearby stairwell and barricaded the door to the shop.

Multiple witnesses said Johnson was running around the M Shop shirtless, telling the inmates, "You guys are fine."

When correctional officers arrived in the shop, Johnson put up his hands and surrendered, according to the complaint.

RELATED: Nonprofit Donates Check to Family of Slain Corrections Officer

Investigation revealed Johnson had checked out a hammer when he reported to work that day. Investigators found a bloody hammer matching the one he checked out on the floor not far from where Gomm was found. They also found two homemade knives, which, according to the complaint, were used to stab Gomm.

Johnson is still in prison, having been convicted of the murder of his former girlfriend in 2002.


Anthony Brousseau

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