July 24, 2018 09:04 AM
The Washington County attorney said the investigation is underway of the fatal assault that occurred at the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Stillwater Wednesday, and he plans to "bring an aggressive prosecution."
Washington County Attorney Pete Orput spoke alongside Department of Corrections Commissioner Tom Roy during a press conference Thursday afternoon.
The DOC confirmed Wednesday corrections officer Joseph Gomm was attacked in an industry building at the prison. He was rushed to Regions Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
"We have a very emotional department right now with people that are struggling who worked arm-to-arm, elbow-to-elbow with Officer Gomm," Roy said.
On Wednesday, sources confirmed the identity of the offender as Edward Muhammad Johnson to KSTP. Roy confirmed Johnson is the main suspect in the case on Thursday.
During the press conference, Orput offered his condolences to Gomm's family, as well as the DOC staff.
"These folks have been through a really devastating incident and all I can bring is an aggressive prosecution," Orput said, "And I'm bringing it."
Orput told reporters he did not want to speculate on charges but said the investigation is being expedited.
Orput said the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Washington County Sheriff's Office and the Bayport Police are all involved in the investigation.
Orput said since he took office in 2011 he has prosecuted 151 cases involving offenders from Minnesota Correctional Facility-Stillwater and Oak Park Heights, both of which fall under his jurisdiction.
Meanwhile, court records show Johnson sued Washington County for negligence in 2009, alleging prison officials did not take proper measures to protect him from a known threat from another inmate. The suit alleged a 2004 assault by that inmate resulted in serious injuries, including the permanent loss of his right eye.
Updated: July 24, 2018 09:04 AM
Created: July 19, 2018 03:54 PM
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