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2 escaped prisoners ID'd after breaking out of Philadelphia prison: police

Search underway for 2 men who escaped from Philadelphia prison
Search underway for 2 men who escaped from Philadelphia prison 02:34

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Two prisoners, including a man accused of being involved in four deaths, escaped from a Philadelphia correctional facility Sunday night. 

The prisoners broke out from the Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center (PICC) located at 8301 State Road.

Police have identified the escapees as 18-year-old Ameen Hurst and 24-year-old Nasir Grant. Hurst is described as 6'0 and weighing 140 pounds. Grant is said to be 5'9 and weighs 160 pounds.


The duo was last seen around 8:00 p.m., and were later spotted on video cutting a hole in the fence to make their break, police said.

Philadelphia police said they were not notified of the escaped inmates until late Monday afternoon. 

Philadelphia Prisons Commissioner Blanche Carney said the authorities are working with U.S. Marshals to bring the two back into custody. 

"We are adamant and working tirelessly to get these two individuals back into custody, and that is the focus of our investigation," Carney said. "As we go through these processes, we have protocols in place and those protocols were not followed, so that will be a part of our investigation."  

Hurst was in custody for four homicides, officials said.

The first homicide happened on the Christmas Eve of 2020 on the 1800 block of Wynnewood Road in Philadelphia, Deputy Commissioner Frank Vanore said. 

In that shooting, 20-year-old Dyewou Nyshawn Scruggs was shot multiple times throughout his body and killed, police said. 

The other shootings happened in March of 2021. 

Vanore said Hurst allegedly shot and killed 24-year-old Naquon Smith and 16-year-old Tamir Brown on the 1400 block of North 76th Street and wounded another two others. The other homicide Hurst is allegedly involved in happened a few days later on State Road near the Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center. 

Vanore said 20-year-old Rodney Hargrove was being discharged around 1:30 a.m., and Hurst shot and killed him as they were walking across State Road. 

Hurst wasn't arrested for the first murder until March 21, 2021, and he was later identified and charged for the additional murders, Vanore said. 

"He's a very dangerous individual from what we know and we're looking for the public's help to get him back," Vanore said.

Grant was in custody for narcotics violations, theft and firearm charges, Vanore said. 

Hurst and Grant were both accounted for at 8:30 p.m., Carney said. The duo missed a total of three headcounts: 11 p.m. on Sunday and 3 a.m. and 7 a.m. Monday. 

Carney said during each headcount, it appeared that Grant and Hurst were both at the prison at the time. She added officials are investigating why the two weren't listed as missing, even though they weren't present during the headcount. 

Philadelphia police provide update on 2 prisoners who escaped 12:00

Hurst and Grant, who were housed in the same unit but not the same cell, escaped through a hole in the wall in the recreation yard, Carney said.

Headcounts were increased at the facility due to Hurst and Grant escaping, officials said.

Carney said she reached out to the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections to conduct a facility vulnerability assessment to check the prison's vulnerable points. 

Mayor Jim Kenney sounded the alarm about the correctional center, saying the system screwed up in allowing Grant and Hurst to escape.

An active manhunt is underway for two inmates who escaped from Philadelphia prison 02:42

"I'm really angry about it. There's no reason for this," Kenney said. "If everyone followed through and did what they were supposed to do, we wouldn't have this problem." 

Carney said they haven't a breach at the facility since 2010. The correctional officer's union entered a vote of no confidence in Carney's leadership just last week, citing a staffing crisis which they say has risen to more than 800 vacancies.

Anyone with information on their whereabouts is asked to call Northeast Detectives at 215-686-3153, 215-686-TIPS (8477) or 911.

This story has been updated with Carney's title.

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