General News

Idaho suspected shooter and escaped inmate both in custody after manhunt, officials say – CBS News


By S. Dev

/ CBS News

Search for escaped Idaho inmate

Escaped Idaho inmate Skylar Meade triggers a massive search


An escaped inmate and his alleged accomplice, both members of a white supremacist gang, were arrested in Twin Falls, Idaho, on Thursday afternoon after a massive manhunt.

Inmate Skylar Meade escaped from a medical center in Boise early Wednesday morning after Nicholas Umphenour allegedly opened fire on corrections officers who were taking Meade back to prison. 

The suspects were located in the Twin Falls area at around 2 p.m. local time Thursday, Boise Police Chief Ron Winegar said at a news conference. After a short vehicle pursuit, the suspects were taken into custody separately. No shots were fired. 

Two homicides committed in the last 24 hours in Idaho are being investigated as possibly linked to the suspects, Idaho State Police Lt. Colonel Sheldon Kelley said. The suspects were found driving a Honda Civic that police said belonged to one of the victims. 

The homicide victims, both men, were discovered in separate counties — one in Nez Perce and one in Clearwater, the city of Boise disclosed in a press release Thursday afternoon.

The two suspects, Skylar Meade and Nicholas Umphenour.

Boise Police Department

Once Umphenour was identified as a potential suspect, investigators looked into his connections to Meade, Josh Tewalt, director of the state’s Department of Correction, said at Thursday’s conference. 

In addition to both being documented members of the white supremacist gang the Aryan Knights, the two men had both periodically lived in the same housing unit in the Idaho Maximum Security Institution, where Umphenour was in custody from December 2020 to January 2024, officials said. They also shared common acquaintances both in and out of custody.

Tewalt said that the suspects’ gang involvement didn’t necessarily indicate that the escape was a “gang-sanctioned event,” adding that the department was monitoring the Aryan Knights in prison “to mitigate the damage that gangs can do.”

“Independent of their actions, we work hard every day to try and disrupt any organized criminal activity that happens in our facilities,” Tewalt said Thursday. 

“Law enforcement believes the capture was successful due to the hundreds of tips from the public and the multiple responding law enforcement agencies,” the city of Boise said in its press release.

The three Idaho Department of Correction officers were shot early on March 20, 2024, at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, Idaho.

Sarah A. Miller/Idaho Statesman/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Meade engaged in “self-injurious” behavior Tuesday night, after which officers determined he needed to be transferred off-site for care, Tewalt said on Wednesday. 

Umphenour attacked and fired at two officers at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center at around 2:15 a.m. Wednesday, officials said. A third person, later determined to be a corrections officer, was shot by responding Boise police officers.

One of the injured corrections officers was released from the hospital Wednesday evening, while the two other injured officers remain hospitalized, Tewalt said Thursday.

“They are stable, improving, and I think with today’s news their spirits are lifted,” Tewalt said, calling the incident a “tough ordeal for corrections family.”

S. Dev

S. Dev is a news editor for