VICKSBURG, Miss., March 10 (Reuters) - Mississippi police said they believe an inmate who escaped from jail last week broke into a house on Thursday and was shot dead after a struggle with the homeowners.
Rafael McCloud, 34, used a homemade knife to take a jail employee hostage last week and escaped from the Warren County Jail in Vicksburg, police said.
McCloud is believed to be the dead suspect, but the burglar has not yet been positively identified, Vicksburg Police Chief Walter Armstrong said.
Jailbreaks throughout history:
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Police: Dead burglar believed to be escaped Mississippi inmate
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Rafael McCloud, 34, is shown in this Warren County Sheriff's Department handout photo. McCloud sparked a manhunt in Mississippi on March 2, 2015 after he swiped a jail employee's clothes, radio and keys and escaped from a county detention facility out a side door, police said. REUTERS/Warren County Sherriff's Department
Shane Anthony Vernon, 27, a prisoner who escaped from Coosa County jail for the second time in three weeks on November 19, 2017, is shown in this booking photo provided November 22, 2017. Coosa County Jail/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
Frank Freshwaters, 79, of Akron, Ohio, United States, is seen in 1959 and 2015 photos released by the Brevard County Sheriff's Office in Florida. Freshwaters was arrested in Melbourne, Florida, on Monday after spending 56 years on the run. Freshwaters, who had been living under the name William Harold Cox, escaped from an Ohio prison in 1959 while serving a sentence related to a manslaughter conviction, authorities said. REUTERS/Brevard County Sheriff's Office/Handout FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS
Mississippi Department of Corrections photo of Sam Gene Harris, a fugitive arrested in Utah 34 years after he escaped. Harris, who escaped from a minimum security prison in Mississippi 35 years ago, was captured in Utah and returned to Mississippi to serve out the remainder of his sentence, officials said on February 20, 2015. REUTERS/Mississippi Department of Corrections/Handout (UNITED STATES - Tags: CRIME LAW HEADSHOT) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
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The burglar forced his way into the house around 4:30 a.m. and held hostage the family living there - a married couple with a four-year-old child, he said.
At some point, the husband and wife, who had been tied up, managed to get free. One or both of the homeowners then shot McCloud dead, Armstrong said.
He said the husband sustained non-life threatening injuries after being stabbed during the morning incident, which appeared to have lasted for several hours before police received an emergency call around 7 a.m.
McCloud had been held on charges including rape and capital murder in the death of a woman last June.
His escape resulted in an extensive manhunt around Vicksburg, about 45 miles west of Jackson, Mississippi.
"This community has been on edge for a very long time," Armstrong told a news conference, expressing relief that no one in the household was badly harmed during the incident.