Officials release audio of 911 calls from Pasquotank prison incident

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WAVY) — 9 On Your Side sister station WAVY has obtained audio of 911 calls from a failed prison break in Pasquotank County.

The audio provided by Pasquotank-Camden 911 is from multiple callers requesting immediate help at the Pasquotank Correctional Institution, for a situation involving an officer — or officers — down, a fire and inmates trying to get out.

“We got inmates trying to jump over the fence,” one caller said. That caller went on to tell dispatch that five inmates were attempting to escape.

“Where are all of the prisoners? Are they running loose?” a dispatcher asked. “Some of them are. They’re inside the fence, but they’re running loose,” the caller replied. The same caller talked about defending himself.

“If they start coming in here, I’m going to have to fight,” he said.

Other callers reported a fire at the prison. Another caller reported “three officers down” to a dispatcher, saying they thought the officers were “beaten with a hammer.”

Officials said that inmates at the prison’s sewing plant started a fire Oct. 12. Several inmates tried unsuccessfully to escape the prison after the fire was started.

A dispatcher could be heard saying at one point, “We have everybody coming. We have fired department coming, we have law enforcement.”

An estimated 200 law enforcement officers responded to the prison. Two prison employees died — 35-year-old Justin Smith and 50-year-old Veronica Darden — and several others were injured in the incident.

Four inmates have since been charged with first-degree murder — Wisezah Buckman, Seth Frazier, Mikel Brady and Jonathan Monk. The four made their first appearance in court Monday morning.

Pasquotank County Sheriff Randy Cartwright said Monday all four inmates are expected to be represented by public defenders.

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