EXCLUSIVE: Inmate saves SCDC lieutenant from attack

Updated: Oct. 24, 2020 at 11:09 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A Lee Correctional Institution lieutenant is recovering after officials he was stabbed multiple times by an inmate one week ago. The South Carolina Department of Corrections says another inmate is the one who stepped in and stopped the attack.

“You see one of your own getting assaulted, it’s very concerning,” said South Carolina Department of Corrections Director Bryan Stirling.

The shocking video that SCDC confirms shows the incident where the inmate stabs the officer with a makeshift weapon. As the attack continues you see another inmate step in and intervene, saving the lieutenant’s life.

WIS spoke exclusively with the inmate that stopped the attack.

The Lt. was screaming, begging and pleading for the guy to stop and let him go and he wouldn’t so I had to physically grab him and pull him off of him," said the inmate.

That inmate—whose identity is being protected-- is a member of The Academy of Hope, a program that aims to bring about positive leadership from the system’s most influential inmates.

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“We’re taking the gang members at SCDC, were putting them in a dorm room,” said Stirling. "About 50 of them, which is kind of unheard of, and we are teaching them how to work out their differences. Not with fists, not with knives, not with guns but with their minds.

The officer was able to escape, but his attacker then turned his attention to his fellow inmate.

“This guy was angry that he couldn’t get a hold of the lieutenant. So he turned all of that anger toward me. He wanted to kill me,” said the inmate.

According to SCDC both the guard and inmate who intervened were stabbed multiple times, but are expected to be ok, and because of that Director Stirling says he believes the Academy of Hope program has served its purpose in a big way.

“I can’t think of a bigger deal than saving someone’s life,” he added. " I mean literally this is a different conversation if not for the Academy of Hope and not for that offender."

As for the inmate who attacked the lieutenant-- SCDC has not released his name but they say the case is being investigated and charges are expected to be filed against him.

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