Escaped inmate, suspect in Columbia officer’s stabbing captured

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COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) – Authorities say they have captured an escaped inmate who is also a suspect in the stabbing of an officer at a Walmart store.

According to the S.C. Department of Corrections (SCDOC), Michael Alan Williamson escaped from McCormick Correctional Institution Wednesday and traveled to Columbia.

Williamson is serving a life sentence for armed robbery and assault and battery with intent to kill.  That case was in Greenville County in 1998.

Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook says after escaping, Williamson stabbed a police officer at a Walmart store in Columbia when she was trying to take him in for shoplifting.

Authorities say the officer was stabbed several times while responding to a shoplifting call just before 10 p.m. Wednesday.  Columbia police say the officer is recovering after she was stabbed multiple times in the upper body.

A spokesman with the Department of Corrections tells 7 News that prison officials don’t know how Williamson escaped the prison. As of  9:45 a.m. Thursday, they’re still investigating how he managed to flee the maximum security facility.

Prison officials say he may have used a food truck to escape.

Prison officials verified he was missing around 8:50 p.m. Wednesday and don’t know exactly when he escaped.

Prison officials said in a news release that Williamson escaped from the maximum security prison around 8:50 p.m. Wednesday.  He is 47 years old and described as being 5’11” with a stocky build.  Williamson has red hair and green eyes and a tattoo on his left arm of Harley wings with a heart.  He also has a scar on his left elbow.

There is a reward for his capture.  Call 1-888-CRIME-SC if you have information.

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