***UPDATED ON THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2016 AT 5:00 P.M.***
McCORMICK COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) – People who live in McCormick County where 47-year-old Williamson escaped told us they are relieved with the news of his capture.
Mamie Banks, who lives in Mt.Caramel, said she has been out-of-town and only learned about the escape when we told her about it.
“Maybe we need more security, but I’m pretty sure they’re doing the best that they can with the staff that they have,” she said.
It was a scary 14 hours for some people who got the news about a prisoner who escaped in McCormick.
Betty Harper heard the news.
“Yes, I have concerns of whether we are really safe,” she replied.
Overnight and into the morning multiple law enforcement agencies tracked Williamson from McCormick Correctional Institution to the Town of Lexington. This was the only escape in recent years, with the last one being in the 1980s.
“I feel that we have wonderful law enforcement. Everyone works together,” Banks said of the current leadership at the prison.
Williamson’s capture left many feeling safer.
Gil Harper had no doubts though.
“I think it’s pretty secure,” he explained stating he was there when the prison was first built.
Harper added he found out about the incident the morning after, but he wasn’t scared.
“I’m ex-special forces so I didn’t really feel uncomfortable. I figured if he escaped here in McCormick he was going to get out of here just as quick as he could,” he said.
But some homeowners near the prison still wonder how safe they are from other escapes.
“Keep the doors locked,” Betty Harper warned.
The Columbia, South Carolina Police Department led the search and capture. The Department tweeted out this morning that Williamson would not be returning to McCormick Correctional Institution.
Photojournalist: Gary Hipps
McCORMICK COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) –Officials tell NewsChannel 6 that Michael Allen Williamson has been captured in Columbia.
Williamson was found just before 11 a.m. at the 4300 block of Sunset Blvd.
The SCDC Director says that Williamson will not go back to McCormick.
McCORMICK COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) – The South Carolina Department of Corrections says Michael Allen Williamson escaped from the McCormick Correctional Institution around 8:50 p.m. Wednesday.
Williamson is serving a life sentence for armed robbery and assault and battery with intent to kill.
McCormick Correctional Institution is a Medium to Maximum security prison.
Williamson has a tattoo with a heart and wings on his left arm and a scar on his left elbow.
Anyone with information is asked to contact your local sheriff’s office.
A spokesman with the Department of Corrections tells our sister station, WSPA, that prison officials don’t know how Williamson escaped the prison. As of 9:45 a.m. Thursday, they’re still investigating how he managed to flee the maximum security facility.
There are reports he got on a food truck, but that could not be immediately confirmed.
The officer was stabbed multiple times before attempting to chase the suspect.
The Columbia Police Department says the officer is currently in stable condition.
Officials say they believe Williamson may have traveled to the Columbia area after his escape.
He is not considered a suspect at this time – he is only wanted for questioning. A cash reward is being offered