DETROIT – An inmate at the Wayne County Jail got out of his cell, which officials said appeared to be locked, and attacked a corporal, injuring him so badly he later died at a hospital, according to police.
Bryant Searcy, 50, was an 18-year veteran of the department. He was assaulted Wednesday night at the Downtown Detroit jail and rushed to a nearby hospital, where he died, authorities said.
Searcy leaves behind a wife and a daughter.
Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon held an emotional news conference Thursday morning and said there is an investigation underway to find out exactly what happened.
Police know the attack happened around 10 p.m. Wednesday at the Wayne County Jail Division 2 building.
The jail goes into a lockdown at night, and inmates are returned to their cells. Old style jail doors are closed, locked and checked by a deputy, according to officials.
Napoleon said Searcy was going cell to cell checking locks. One of the cell doors holding an inmate appeared to be locked, but it wasn’t, police said. A 28-year-old inmate opened the door and attacked Searcy.
“There was a struggle,” Napoleon said. “At the end of the struggle, we believe he lost consciousness. He was ultimately conveyed to Detroit Receiving Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.”
The 28-year-old inmate remains in custody, according to authorities.
Napoleon, Wayne County Executive Warren Evans, deputies and family members were at the hospital when medical officials pronounced him dead.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Cpl. Searcy’s wife, Sherry, and their daughter during this horrific time,” Evans said in a statement. “Words cannot express the magnitude of the loss and pain we feel today. A full investigation is underway, both internally by the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office and by the Detroit Police Department’s homicide unit. The attack on and homicide of Cpl. Searcy is a jarring reminder of the danger the men and women in law enforcement face on every shift.”