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Escaped murder suspect shot, killed during alleged break-in

VICKSBURG, Miss. --An accused murderer who escaped from a Mississippi jail more than a week ago was shot and killed this morning by a person he held hostage during a nearly three-hour-long confrontation, police say.

"That is correct. He has met his maker," Vicksburg Police Chief Walter Armstrong said in an interview with 48 Hours' Crimesider.

The eight-day hunt for Rafael McCloud ended around 7 a.m. when police were called to a home about a half mile from the jail McCloud escaped from on March 2. Vicksburg police chief Walter Armstrong said McCloud entered the house through an unlocked garage door at about 4 a.m.

During the next three hours, a husband and wife who were inside with their baby experienced what Armstrong described as "torture."

The husband told police he confronted McCloud soon after the escaped inmate entered the home. Armstrong said it was apparent to police that the couple engaged McCloud in an intense fight, moving throughout the house.

Ultimately, the husband was stabbed in the shoulder, and McCloud managed to subdue both victims, tying them up, Armstrong said.

Then, before 7 a.m., the couple managed to get loose. One of them grabbed a gun and shot McCloud. By the time police arrived, he had already died, Armstrong said.

"This community has really been frightened for over a week, and that has come to an end as of this morning," Armstrong said.

The husband is being treated at a nearby hospital for his injury, which Armstrong said is not life threatening.

McCloud was accused of rape, murder and other crimes, in the June 2015 death of Sharon Wilson. Police said he sexually assaulted the 69-year-old in her home, before bringing her to an abandoned hospital, where he allegedly shot and killed her. Wilson's body was later found by a group of so-called ghost hunters exploring the hospital.

McCloud was indicted in January and escaped by using a homemade knife to corner a jail employee, stealing the person's uniform, keys and radio, before fleeing.

Armstrong said police are now investigating the possibility that McCloud received assistance from people during his eight days on the lam.

"I believe he's had help. He had on a nice white pair of tennis shoes, and he had jeans on that he didn't have when he left jail," Armstrong said.

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