Inmate escapes from north Louisiana prison, kills woman, dies in shootout

David Wade Correctional Center. Photo courtesy of Google Maps.

BATON ROUGE – An inmate at a north Louisiana prison stole a car and killed a woman before dying in a hail of bullets in an exchange of gunfire with police.

Officials at the David Wade Correctional Center in Homer, Louisiana, realized 39-year-old Deltra Henderson was missing around 1:40 p.m. on July 27, according to a press release by the Louisiana Department of Corrections.

Henderson, who was a trustee at the prison, had stolen a car parked near the main prison complex some time before.

Authorities soon located the car, which had been wrecked near a home on the prison property, and found Henderson inside the home, according to the DOC.

At some point during his escape, Henderson killed a person identified as a young woman living on prison grounds by our partner station KTBS, but the details of the murder and the identity of the victim have yet to be officially released.

Authorities surrounded Henderson, and he exchanged gunfire with them.

The shootout ended with Henderson’s death.

Henderson had been locked up at the David Wade Correctional Center since 2001 on charges including aggravated burglary, attempted armed robbery, and distribution of cocaine.

“Our hearts hurt today as we grieve, and mourn the loss of one of our own,” Department of Public Safety and Corrections Secretary James M. Le Blanc said. “This is a dark day for the Department of Public Safety and Corrections. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of this young lady, David Wade staff, and all those affected by this tragedy. I am extremely proud of our staff for their outstanding dedication and professionalism as well as their strength and rapid response in handling this tragic situation. We’re thankful for our law enforcement partners, Louisiana State Police and the Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office, for their tremendous response and support.”

Earlier this month, the MacArthur Justice Center of New Orleans and the Advocacy Center of Louisiana have filed suit against the Louisiana Department of Corrections and the David Wade Correctional Center, alleging in part that the prison fails to provide meaningful mental health care services, does not identify individuals with significant mental illnesses, and uses solitary confinement as an alternative to mental health treatment.