Idaho Police Launch Manhunt for Escaped Inmate and Accomplice After Hospital Ambush

(Photos via Boise PD)
(Photos via Boise PD)

OAN’s Abril Elfi
11:49 AM – Thursday, March 21, 2024

Police have been searching for an escaped inmate and his accomplice, who helped him escape from a hospital in Boise, Idaho, during a shootout that injured two officers. 


Officials have stated that early on Wednesday, at around 2:15 a.m., State Corrections Department officers were attempting to transfer inmate Skylar Meade back to the corrections facility after he was taken to Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center for treatment.

According to police, as they were preparing to transfer Meade, a suspect, who was later identified as Nicholas Umphenor, fired shots at them and injured two officers. One officer had non-life-threatening injuries while the other was stable but still in critical condition.

They stated that Meade and Umphenor fled in a gray sedan, “[most likely] a Honda Civic.”

Meade was described as a 31-year-old White man, 5 feet-6 inches tall, with two face tattoos: “No. 1” on one side and “No. 11” on the other side of his face.

The hospital was under a modified lockdown after reports of an active shooter there prompted police to respond, according to the department. At the hospital’s entrance, one of the officers opened fire on an armed man who was later identified as a Corrections Department officer.

The corrections officer’s injuries were not considered life-threatening.

The Chief of Police for Boise, Ron Winegar, called the incident a “brazen, violent, and apparently coordinated attack” intended to help Meade get away. 

“We caution anyone who may have contact with the suspects involved in this violent attack and escape to call 911 immediately and not confront them personally,” Winegar said. “They are armed, dangerous, and have shown they are willing to use extreme violence in furtherance of their criminal activity.”

Winegar told reporters on Wednesday that Meade is a “known gang member,” and that Umphenour is an associate of Meade.

“It is unknown exactly where they are or where they are headed,” police said in a statement Wednesday evening.

According to reports, Meade was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2017 for firing multiple shots at law enforcement officers during a high-speed chase while evading a traffic stop. He then entered a guilty plea to charges of aggravated assault, possession of methamphetamine, unlawful firearm possession by a convicted felon, and jailhouse possession of a shank.

Meade was in a maximum-security facility on Tuesday night when he allegedly engaged in “injurious behavior,” according to Josh Tewalt, director of the Corrections Department. After the department’s medical staff concluded that he would require hospital treatment, he arrived at the hospital shortly before 10 p.m. local time.

“As the chief adequately and appropriately described, this is what we believe to be a planned attack,” Tewalt said. “But in the event that it was not isolated, we took every precaution we possibly could. The entire South Boise complex was placed on secure status.”

Meade was put in administrative segregation, a form of restrictive housing that is the highest custody level at the Corrections Department, Tewalt said.

“That’s not determined by your criminal history,” Tewalt said. “It’s a classification that’s earned by your behavior in custody.”

Police have obtained a warrant for Umphenour on two counts of aggravated battery against law enforcement and one count of aiding and abetting an escape.

Authorities say that the suspects are considered armed and dangerous, and anyone who sees them should call 9-1-1.

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