Prisoner Kills Officer at Utah Hospital

June 25, 2007
Inmate shot officer, escaped while unshackled for doctor's appointment

SALT LAKE CITY -- An inmate with tattoos covering his face and head stole gun from a corrections officer and shot him to death Monday when the prisoner was at a doctor's appointment, authorities said.

Curtis Allgier fled the University of Utah medical center on foot, carjacked a Ford Explorer and was captured miles away at an Arby's restaurant after a high-speed chase.

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Allgier, who has a swastika and the words "skin head" tattooed on his forehead, was in an examination room at the campus orthopedic center around 7:45 a.m., university Police Chief Scott Folsom said.

"There was some sort of altercation. The inmate got hold of the weapon and shot the officer," he said.

Stephen Anderson, 60, a 22-year-veteran, was shot in the head, authorities said.

"This is one of the risks in the job we perform for the community," said Tom Patterson, director of the Utah Department of Corrections. "Unfortunately the risk sometimes is our very lives."

Police stopped Allgier's vehicle by placing spikes in the road near the Arby's.

Inside the restaurant, at least one person was "struck with some object" but was able to walk out, bloodied around the head, Salt Lake City police Sgt. Rich Brede said.

Allgier, 27, was not armed when he was captured inside the manager's office, Brede said.

The Utah Department of Corrections routinely transports prisoners to the university for medical appointments.

Allgier had lower back pain and was taken to the orthopedic center for an MRI. The procedure requires an officer to replace metal restraints with a plastic "flex cuff," Patterson said.

"We do not know exactly what happened" in the room, Patterson said.

Allgier was in prison on a parole violation. His criminal record includes burglary, forgery and at least one weapons crime, according to records.

Police arrived at the Arby's just as Shirley Smiley, 57, was outside after breakfast with her husband and son. She didn't see Allgier but heard a "popping noise" inside that was a gunshot.

Police yelled "get down!" and the three of them dropped to the ground in the parking lot, Smiley said.

The university serves as a regional medical center for Utah and has two hospitals and other facilities, including the orthopedic center.

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