Updated: Thursday, 15 Jul 2010, 11:28 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 15 Jul 2010, 12:02 PM EDT
KINCHELOE, Mich. (AP) - An inmate serving life in prison for killing five people was fatally shot Thursday while trying to escape with two other convicted murders from a northern Michigan prison, authorities said.
Seth Privacky, 30, was killed by a corrections officer at the Kinross Correctional Facility in Kincheloe, about 275 miles north of Detroit, the state Department of Corrections said. The other two inmates surrendered.
The three men overpowered a man driving a tractor-trailer at the prison just after 9 a.m., then crashed the truck through a double chain-link fence topped with razor wire. The truck traveled about 100 yards before the men jumped out and began running, and Privacky was shot after ignoring guards' warnings to stop, prison officials said.
"It got wrapped up in the fence," Warden Jeffrey Woods said of the truck. "Although there's a ton of damage, the fence stopped the truck. It did its job."
The minimum- and medium-security Upper Peninsula prison holds more than 1,800 prisoners and was placed on lock-down, but all inmates were accounted for, said Corrections Department spokesman John Cordell. Michigan State Police were investigating.
"The alarms go off all the time with testing and that, but this morning when they were going off, it was a little bit longer than usual," said Brian Shepard, who lives near the prison.
When he heard the news that there were three murderers on the loose, Shepard said he thought, "that is scary," he said. "That's what's scary. I'm just glad they got 'em. We got a lot of little kids out there."
Privacky was sentenced to life in prison without parole for a 1998 shooting spree that killed his parents, grandfather, brother and brother's girlfriend near Muskegon. At the time, prosecutors called it "the worst mass murder in west Michigan history."
The other inmates who tried to escape were Brian Davidson, 31, who was convicted of beating a man to death, and Andrew Ross, 25, accused of killing his parents and older brother. Both could face charges related to the escape attempt and have been transferred to a segregation unit within a high-security prison, prison officials said.
The three inmates attacked the truck driver at a food service delivery loading dock at the prison and took his keys, Cordell said. The driver was treated for nonlife-threatening injuries. No other injuries were reported at the prison.
The warden said it wasn't immediately clear how the escape was planned. He praised the prison staff for stopping the attempt and securing the prison.
"The staff did a wonderful job responding," Woods said.
Privacky had been at Kinross since August 2007, while Ross arrived in April 2009 and Davidson was transferred there in February, Woods said. Between 600 to 700 of the prison's inmates are serving life sentences or have at least 20 years left behind bars.
Authorities said Privacky's shootings were triggered when his father asked him to move out. Privacky, who was 18 at the time, pleaded no contest to five counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of John J. Privacky, 78; Stephen C. Privacky, 50; Linda Privacky, 49; Jedediah J. Privacky, 19; and April A. Boss, 19. A no contest plea is not an admission of guilt but is treated as such for sentencing purposes.
Davidson was serving life in prison without parole after being convicted in the 2002 fatal beating of Jerry Steinberg. In an apparently random attack, the 38-year-old was knocked off his bike and beaten near Grand Rapids. He died about a week later.
A message seeking comment was left Thursday with Davidson's former attorney.
Ross pleaded guilty but mentally ill for the 2003 fatal shootings of his parents and older brother in Macomb Township. He was sentenced to up to 40 years in prison.
His attorney in that case, Neil Rockind, said Thursday that he'd hoped Ross would get treatment for mental illness in prison.
"Andrew was a deeply conflicted and troubled young man," Rockind said. "I can't imagine that he somehow magically got better while he was in prison and decided to hatch a plan."
24 Hour News 8 reporter Leon Hendrix contributed to this story.