Warren County prosecutor: Escapee had woman at knifepoint, was killed


MASON, Ohio (AP) — A member of a law enforcement tactical team shot and killed an escaped prison inmate on Tuesday after the team entered an Ohio hotel room where authorities said he was holding a woman at knifepoint, prosecutors said.

Authorities in Hamilton County had been seeking Thomas Cromwell, 27, and another inmate since they were reported to have escaped early Saturday through a broken window at the River City Correctional Center in Cincinnati.

Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell told reporters that Cromwell was seen Monday entering the Baymont Inn in Mason with a woman. A tactical team was called in, and a standoff — which lasted into early Tuesday — began after authorities said he was heard to make “life-threatening” statements about the woman.

“During this time, Cromwell made additional statements that led law enforcement to believe that the female subject’s life was in danger,” Fornshell said. The tactical team entered the room and confronted him, “ultimately using lethal force,” with one shot fired and Cromwell pronounced dead at the scene, he said.

“Preliminary investigation indicates that Cromwell was holding the female subject at knifepoint at the time the (tactical) team made entry into the room,” Fornshell said. The knife was discovered next to his body, and the woman was not injured, he said.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation was called in to investigate. Authorities are still seeking the other inmate who escaped.