Southern Miss’ Hattiesburg campus was put on lockdown Friday, Feb. 15 when two inmates escaped the Forrest County Jail and were seen near the Hillcrest residence hall.
The two inmates were 26-year-old Carlos Sibley and 29-year-old Donaven Harris. Sibley was arrested in 2016 and convicted of second-degree murder, and Harris was charged with armed robbery and two aggravated assault charges.
Chief deputy of the Lamar County Sheriff Office Brad Weathers posted on Facebook Saturday, Feb. 16 that the two “thugs are headed back to jail.”
According to his post, the Hattiesburg Police and members of the U.S. Marshals Task Force assisted in the capture. The inmates were taken into custody near Bayview and Westover Drive in West Hattiesburg.
The inmates were believed to be off the Southern Miss campus Saturday morning, according to an Eagle Alert sent to students, faculty and staff. However, the University Police Department advised those on campus to use caution, to not travel alone and to report any suspicious activity to UPD.
Junior political science major and resident assistant in Hillcrest Taylor Baker was on duty that night. Baker said her boss texted her to alert her that the inmates were seen in the parking lot and make sure no resident left the building until around 1 a.m.
Guests were unable to be checked in during the lockdown.
Baker said she was scared because of the proximity of the inmates.
“I think a lot of the residents felt safe inside the building. Parking outside and getting into the building was most people’s concern,” Baker said.
Junior painting and drawing major Janey Shimp said she was frightened when she received the Eagle Alert messages.
“[The inmates] weren’t close to where I live, but it’s still scary when you hear something like that,” Shimp said. “They weren’t close to where I live, but it’s still scary when you hear something like that. I had to go to work early in the morning as well, and I work close to the school. Seeing the email saying they hadn’t been caught yet and giving a more detailed description of them scared me even more because I was alone all night and that morning. Who knew where they could have run to? I’m glad they were caught and no one was hurt.”
In the case of future emergencies, call UPD at 601-266-4986.
photo courtesy CNN