Corrections officer killed during disturbance at Crowley prison, second officer seriously injured

Arkansas Valley Correctional Facility on lockdown

DENVER - The Department of Corrections officer killed by an inmate Monday in a prison kitchen was identified Tuesday.

Sgt. Mary K. Ricard, 55, was killed in the incident in the kitchen of the Arkansas Valley Correctional Facility in Crowley. Spokeswoman Katherine Sanguinetti said Ricard joined the Department of Corrections in 2003 and transferred to the Arkansas Valley Correctional Facility in 2007.

A second corrections officer was seriously injured, said Alison Morgan of the Colorado Department of Corrections

The Colorado Department of Corrections identified the injured officer as Sergeant Lori Gann. She is hospitalized at Parkview Hospital in Pueblo.

The DOC said Gann joined the department in March of 2009.

"We are hurting we lost a staff member and another staff member is in the hospital," spokeswoman Alison Morgan said.

Morgan did not give details about the incident, but said it happened in the kitchen during early morning breakfast operations.

"That’s one of the most dangerous areas to work because there’s so many potential weapons," said one former prison guard who asked to remain anonymous.

"The Office of the Inspector General has identified one offender suspect and AVCF remains on lockdown during the investigation," spokeswoman Adrienne Jacobson said in a statement earlier Monday.

The prison is secure, Morgan said, and meals to prisoners were being prepared and delivered from other facilities because the kitchen was closed.

Additionally, Morgan said medium and close security prisons statewide were put on lockdown after this incident.

"We have a family in mourning. [The] DOC family is in mourning. We still have a job to do and we will do that job with honor and integrity and professionalism, though we are mourning and we are hurting," Morgan said.

The executive director of the prison, Tom Clements, offered condolences to families of the two officers.

Crowley is about 45 miles east of Pueblo.

Morgan said the prison currently holds 999 offenders in close, medium and minimum custody. 324 staff members are assigned to the prison.

"We all know each other, we’re a pretty tight community here, so we’re trying to figure out who is was," said Crowley resident Carissa Hijar.