South Carolina

Authorities think escaped inmate stabbed police officer

  • This undated photo provided by the South Carolina Department of Corrections shows Michael Allen Williamson, who escaped around 8:50 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, from McCormick Correctional Institution, according to Dexter Lee of the South Carolina Department of Corrections. (South Carolina Department of Corrections via AP)

    This undated photo provided by the South Carolina Department of Corrections shows Michael Allen Williamson, who escaped around 8:50 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, from McCormick Correctional Institution, according to Dexter Lee of the South Carolina Department of Corrections. (South Carolina Department of Corrections via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook, left, and South Carolina Corrections Department Director Bryan Stirling, center, discuss the recapture of escaped state prison inmate Michael Williamson on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016, in Columbia, S.C.  (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)

    Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook, left, and South Carolina Corrections Department Director Bryan Stirling, center, discuss the recapture of escaped state prison inmate Michael Williamson on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)  (The Associated Press)

South Carolina authorities are searching for an escaped maximum-security inmate who's suspected of stabbing a police officer.

Dexter Lee of the South Carolina Department of Corrections say 47-year-old Michael Allen Williamson escaped at around 8:50 p.m. Wednesday from McCormick Correctional Institution.

Later that night, Columbia police officials say a female officer responding to a shoplifting call was stabbed inside a Walmart store in Columbia, South Carolina, about 80 miles east of McCormick.

Lee says authorities think Williamson stabbed the officer but are still investigating. Police said in a news release that the officer is recovering from her injuries.

Williamson began serving a life sentence for armed robbery and assault and battery with intent to kill in 1997. Lee says authorities are still investigating how Williamson got out of the prison.