Shots fired in Md. prison escape

In this undated photo provided by the Maryland Department of Corrections, Kelvin Polk is shown. Polk, a Maryland prisoner broke loose and fled from a hospital Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2008, and there were reports that shots were fired in the building but no reports of injuries, police said.

Maryland Department of Corrections/The AP
Published: Wednesday, January 2, 2008 at 10:39 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 2, 2008 at 10:39 a.m.

LAUREL, Md. - A prisoner serving a life term for kidnapping grabbed a gun while at a hospital and escaped Wednesday, and shots were fired inside the building, authorities said. No injuries were reported.

The prisoner overpowered a guard and grabbed a firearm at Laurel Regional Hospital, said Maryland State Police Sgt. Arthur Betts.

Shots were fired when the prisoner tried to break free of his shackles, Betts said. Police said they didn't immediately know if he succeeded in getting out of the restraints.

The hospital was placed on lockdown as police searched for the prisoner, but Betts said he was believed to have gotten out of the hospital.

Police identified the prisoner as 45-year-old Kelvin Polk, who had been admitted to the hospital Monday after complaining of chest pains.

Polk was serving life plus 40 years at the Jessup Correctional Institution for kidnapping, carjacking and robbery.

In November, a prisoner escaped from the Laurel hospital after taking a state trooper's gun and firing shots. He was captured hours later following an intense search.

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