Rafael McCloud, the murder suspect who escaped from the Warren County jail in Vicksburg last Wednesday, has been killed by his own hostages.
McCloud, 33, was the subject of a statewide police hunt ever since he escaped prison after attacking a jail guard with a shank and donning his uniform. Being held for rape and murder-related charges, McCloud managed to evade authorities for more than a week before finally breaking into a family’s home. He’d hoped to use the members of the family as his hostages in case of a showdown with the police.
However, before he could escape prosecution at the hands of the police, McCloud was shot down by a woman first and then later by her husband, Vicksburg Post reports.
Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace, speaking after McCloud’s body was discovered in a bathtub early Thursday morning, said that the police did not want the case to be closed in such a dramatic fashion.
“This is certainly not how we wanted this to end. Our goal was to take him back into custody and have him stand before a jury in Warren County. But he brought this upon himself.
“We are incredibly relieved this family was not seriously injured and they were able to protect themselves this morning. It’s been a long week for this community and we appreciate the cooperation of the public as we have pursued this community.”
According to reports, McCloud broke into the family’s home before dawn on Thursday morning and took a man, woman, and child hostage. A couple of hours and a few verbal brawls later, McCloud allowed the wife to leave the bathroom where he was holding her 5-year-old son and her husband hostage.
Before McCloud could anticipate any danger, the woman returned with a handgun and shot him. Soon after, the husband managed to free himself with the support of his wife and fired additional shots at the jail escapee. The couple’s young son is believed to be a witness to the shootings.
In the aftermath of the shootings, the husband was taken to Merit Health River Region Medical Center for treatment since he suffered from stab wounds inflicted by McCloud. Although his wife was also hit in the head, she was not admitted to the hospital.
It is believed, even at this early stage, that McCloud managed to gain access to the family’s Fort Hill Drive home after the husband had forgotten to lock the front door of the house. McCloud, who was apparently waiting for the husband to be distracted, attacked him when he came to the garage to start his wife’s car. The couple tried to fight with the murder suspect but could not subdue him.
McCloud had been in jail since January, according to the Daily Mail, charged with the kidnap, rape, and murder of Sharon Wilson, 69, whose badly beaten body was found dumped in an abandoned hospital last year.
On March 2, he escaped his prison cell by taking a jail guard hostage with a homemade shank — a crude knife made from a piece of metal — and forcing the guard to give him his clothes. According to Pace, McCloud had “forced the guard to disrobe and then put on his clothes” and “held the shank against the guard” as they went downstairs before McCloud slipped through a side door.
Rafael McCloud’s case is probably not the first time that a jail escapee has been killed while still at large, but might well be one of the few instances where a murder suspect has been killed by his own hostages.
The couple, who have not been identified, are believed to be facing no charges at the moment.
[Image via Warren County Sheriff]