A nurse and a correctional officer at a prison housing some of Iowa's most dangerous offenders died on Tuesday after an inmate carried out an attack on staff members and other inmates, state officials said. The attack happened at around 10:15am in the prison infirmary at the state penitentiary in the eastern Iowa city of Anamosa, according to a statement from the Iowa Department of Corrections. The department said it is still confirming details of what took place and state police are also investigating. "What the department can confirm is that an inmate attacked multiple staff members and inmates in the prison's infirmary. As a result of their injuries, a correctional nurse and correctional officer have died," the department said in a statement, per the AP.
No other details were immediately available, including whether any other staff or inmates were injured. The deaths are believed to be the first time an Iowa prison staff member has been killed by an inmate since 1969, when Iowa State Penitentiary officer Sam Reed was assaulted and stabbed by inmate Edward N. Clark. Inmates took a dozen staff members hostage during a 1981 riot at that prison but none were killed. Gov. Kim Reynolds said the state was grieving the deaths of "two public servants who were attacked while on duty at the Anamosa State Penitentiary." The prison houses about 945 inmates in both maximum- and medium-security wings and has around 320 staff members. The inmates include those convicted of murder and other violent crimes. (Read more Iowa stories.)