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Man accused of multiple murders sought in Philadelphia jail breach

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(PHILADELPHIA) — A manhunt is underway for two inmates, including one facing multiple murder charges, who escaped from a Philadelphia detention center through a hole in the recreation yard’s fence, authorities said.

The two men were discovered missing from the Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center during a headcount Monday afternoon, according to Philadelphia Prisons Commissioner Blanche Carney.

They escaped Sunday around 8:30 p.m. and were erroneously considered accounted for during three subsequent headcounts, before being discovered missing during the 3 p.m. Monday headcount, according to Carney.

“We are adamant and working tirelessly to get these two dangerous individuals back in custody,” Carney told reporters during a press briefing Monday evening. “We had protocols in place, and those protocols were not followed, so that will be part of our investigation.”

“But the goal here now is to make sure that these two individuals are apprehended promptly and brought back into custody,” she continued.

The commissioner identified the escaped inmates as Ameen Hurst, 18, who was brought to the facility in March 2021 on multiple counts of murder, and Nasir Grant, 28, who was being held since September 2022 on charges including criminal conspiracy, narcotics and firearm violations.

The Philadelphia Police Department and U.S. Marshal’s Office are involved in the search for the two men.

“We are working very quickly to try to get them back,” Philadelphia Police Department Deputy Commissioner Frank Vanore told reporters.

Hurst is considered “very dangerous,” Vanore said. The inmate is accused of killing someone in December 2020, fatally shooting two people in March 2021 and, a few days later, fatally shooting a man who had just been discharged from a Philadelphia correctional facility, Vanore said.

Hurst and Grant were housed in the same unit in different cells in the correctional facility and are believed to be together, authorities said.

Blanche said the correctional facility is on lockdown and she has reached out to the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections to conduct a “facility vulnerability assessment and security assessment as soon as possible.”

The facility is also reviewing security footage as part of its investigation into the breach and reviewing the three headcounts to see “why they did not detect those two individuals missing,” she said.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said a $20,000 reward for each man is being offered for information that leads to their arrest.

“The No. 1 responsibility right now is to get these guys off the street,” Kenney told reporters.

The next priority is to have the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections assess the system, he said.

“Clearly the system screwed up and people didn’t do what they were supposed to do,” Kenney said. “But we’re going to find out exactly who, exactly how often and what we got to do to shore it back up again.”

Kenney said they will get to the bottom of it and “deal with the fallout from there.”

“I’m really angry about it,” the mayor said. “There’s no reason for this.”

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