Three inmates shot trying to escape Texas Prison in Livingston - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Three inmates shot trying to escape Texas Prison in Livingston

Albin Zelaya-Zelaya Albin Zelaya-Zelaya
Michael Dueitt Michael Dueitt
Donald Gower Donald Gower
Terry McDonald Terry McDonald
Juan Quintero Juan Quintero

 By Whitney Grunder - bio | email

LIVINGSTON, TX (KTRE)- A Livingston prison is on lockdown after five inmates attempted to escape the facility Friday evening.

Officials say it happened at around nine pm, at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Polunsky unit, in Polk County. 

Residents living across the street from the faciliy described Friday's incident as chaotic, and confusing.

"I tried to come home. They had all the road blocked off and said you gotta go somewhere else, you can't go home," said resident Richard Prows. "He wouldn't tell me what happened. There was a situation at the prison but he wouldn't talk about it."

According to TDCJ official, Jason Clark, the inmates attempted to escape by jumping an interior fence and scaling the perimeter fence. The inmates were returning to their housing area from the unit gym where they had just attended a church service.

Authorities say guards warned the inmates to stop but when they failed to do so, they were forced to take action.

"Correction officers have an obligation to stop an escape and they are authorized to use force if necessary," said Clark.

Three of the five inmates were shot as they made a run for the fence; none of the inmates escaped.

TDCJ released the names of the five inmates:

  • Albin Zelaya-Zelaya, convicted in Harris County and serving a life sentence for Burglary with Intent to Commit a Felony.       
  • Michael Dueitt, convicted in Calhoun County and serving a life sentence for Capital Murder.   
  • Donald Gower, convicted in Lampass County and serving a life sentence without parole for Capital Murder.
  • Terry McDonald, convicted in El Paso County and serving a life sentence for Murder.
  • Juan Quintero, convicted in Harris County and serving and serving a life sentence without parole for Capital Murder.

Dueitt, Zelaya-Zelaya and McDonald suffered gun shot wounds and were taken to area hospitals for non-life threatening injuries. Quintero and Gowen suffered multiple lacerations after getting tangled in the wires. They have since been treated and are back at the unit.

All five offenders could face felony attempted escape charges.

Area residents say they are frustrated they couldn't get answers.

"Polk County needs to start advising people at what goes on at this prison, especially people that live right across the street," said Autumn Christoph.

Clark says the incident was kept under control.

Residents are just glad they can sleep tonight, knowing a bad situation was prevented from turning into a potential nightmare.

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