Manhunt underway after 3 Idaho corrections officers ambushed and shot dead while escorting inmates out of medical center

Three corrections officers were ambushed and shot dead early Wednesday while taking an inmate back to prison from a medical center in Boise, Idaho, authorities said. The prisoner and the shooter are believed to have escaped together, prompting a manhunt.

The City of Boise said in a news release that Idaho Department of Corrections officers transported the inmate, Skylar Mead, to St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center on Tuesday night. As they were preparing to leave with Meade at 2:15 a.m. local time, an unidentified suspect attacked the officers and opened fire, hitting two of them.

A third person, later determined to be a corrections officer, was shot by responding Boise police officers.

Boise police detectives on Wednesday afternoon identified the suspect in the shooting as Nicholas Ambenure.

“Preliminary investigations indicate Mead and the shooting suspect got into a gray four-door sedan and fled the area shortly before Boise police officers arrived,” the news release states.

One officer shot by Umbenur is in critical but stable condition, while a second officer shot by Umbenur has serious but non-life-threatening injuries, officials said. A third officer injured in the police shooting suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Mead engaged in “self-injurious” behavior Tuesday night after which authorities determined he needed to be transferred for safety, state Department of Corrections Director Josh DeWalt said at a Wednesday news conference.

Updated photo of suspect Skyler Meade.

Boise Police Department


“We believe it was a coordinated attack or an ambush that took him out of custody,” said Boise Police Chief Ron Vinegar, who said they had dozens of leads.

The hospital was locked down as police searched for the suspects. A manhunt is now underway across the Treasure Valley to find Ambenor, a documented member of the white supremacist gang Aryan Knights, and 31-year-old Mead, according to Vinegar.

Since October 2016, Mead has been incarcerated for aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer with a firearm. His latest sentence will end in 2036, according to a news release.

The suspect in the shooting is Nicholas Ambenure.

Boise Police Department


Mead, who has a series of distinctive tattoos on his face and body, is approximately 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs 150 pounds, authorities said.

Detectives described Ambener as 5-foot-11 and about 160 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. Officers have obtained a warrant for Umbenur's arrest. The warrant carries a $2 million bond.

The suspect's getaway vehicle is believed to be a gray 2020 Honda Civic. Has license plate 2TDF43U. Both are considered armed and dangerous, and residents are advised not to approach them, but instead call 911 or Ada County Dispatch at 208-377-6790.

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