Escaped inmate, suspect in SC officer’s stabbing captured

Williamson is pictured on the left in a photo from the S.C. Dept. of Corrections. Surveillance video, right, shows man suspected of stabbing Columbia police Officer.

COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) – Authorities say they have captured an escaped inmate who is also a suspect in the stabbing of an officer at a Walmart store.

According to the S.C. Department of Corrections (SCDOC), Michael Alan Williamson escaped from McCormick Correctional Institution Wednesday and traveled to Columbia.

Williamson is serving a life sentence for armed robbery and assault and battery with intent to kill.  That case was in Greenville County in 1998.

Officer Hardesty was treated for two stab wounds to her left arm and shoulder. Source: Columbia Police Twitter
Officer Hardesty was treated for two stab wounds to her left arm and shoulder. Source: Columbia Police Twitter

Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook says after escaping, Williamson stabbed a police officer at a Walmart store in Columbia when she was trying to take him in for shoplifting.

Authorities say the officer was stabbed several times while responding to a shoplifting call just before 10 p.m. Wednesday.

Officer Hardesty was treated for two stab wounds to her left arm and shoulder.

A spokesman with the Department of Corrections tells 7 News 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.

Prison officials say he may have used a food truck to escape.

Prison officials verified he was missing around 8:50 p.m. Wednesday and don’t know exactly when he escaped.