Police in northern Virginia have locked down a hospital and closed area roads while they search for a prisoner they say is armed and dangerous after he escaped custody.

Fairfax County police say in their verified Twitter account that they're searching the area around Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church early Tuesday after the escape. Police say the prisoner escaped the custody of a private security guard with the officer's gun.

Police say the prisoner, identified as Wossen Assaye, is wearing a hospital gown and no shoes.

They are asking people in the area to call police with information about anything suspicious.