(MOSCOW) — It sounds like something out of a movie. A prison escape so daring it almost seemed improbable. According to a Russian news report, a convicted murderer climbed a rope ladder into a helicopter and escaped as guards fired shots at the chopper.
The incident took place at a high security penitentiary that houses about 1,700 prisoners in the Volgoda Region of Russia, just east of St. Petersburg. There, according to RIA Novasti, a prisoner named Alexei Shestakov was halfway through a 24-year sentence for murder.
Thursday morning the helicopter approached the prison and dropped a rope ladder. Shestakov reportedly scampered up and the aircraft darted away, dodging shots from prison guards who tried in vain to prevent the escape.
RIA Novasti reports that the helicopter crew was forced to fly towards the prison by the escapee’s accomplices.
“At the scheduled time today the helicopter’s crew landed it at the designated place, taking on board a man and a woman. After the aircraft took off, they drew guns and forced the pilot to hover above the penal colony and throw out a rope. The convict used the rope to climb onboard,” an Interior Ministry spokesman said.
Police eventually caught the escaped convict, who was “slightly injured” after refusing to surrender when cornered by law enforcement. The people who helped him escape are reportedly still at large.
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Holly Yan, Chuck Johnston and David Williams, CNN
Ashley Fantz, AnneClaire Stapleton and Ed Payne, CNN Newswire