Escaped Mississippi murder suspect killed in home invasion

Posted at 2:18 PM, Mar 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-10 18:30:42-05

By Mayra Cuevas and Catherine E. Shoichet

(CNN) — After more than a week on the lam, escaped murder suspect Rafael Arnez McCloud was shot dead during a home invasion Thursday, authorities said.

“It appears at this time that Rafael McCloud entered the home, attacked the occupants of the home and at some point the occupant of the home was able to retrieve their own gun and Rafael McCloud was shot and killed in their own home,” Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace told CNN.

McCloud, 34, escaped last week after taking a jail employee hostage with a makeshift weapon, authorities have said.

McCloud had been inside the home in Vicksburg, Mississippi, “for some time” before someone was able to call 911 Thursday and report the home invasion, Pace said.

A husband, wife and small child were inside the home when McCloud broke in, the sheriff said.

The husband is being treated for nonlife-threatening injuries, Pace said. The wife and child were not injured, authorities said.

Investigators had been searching for McCloud for more than a week.

“This is certainly not the outcome that we wanted,” Pace said. “Our goal was to capture him safely and have him stand trial for the criminal charges he was in jail for. I am relieved that the family this morning was not injured more seriously than they were.”

McCloud had been in custody on charges in the killing of Sharon Wilson, 69, whose body was found in an abandoned hospital in late June, according to the Vicksburg Police Department. She had been hit in the head and beaten. Investigators have said McCloud admitted to kidnapping Wilson from her home and dumping her body in the grass behind the hospital.

He was charged with capital murder, sexual battery, rape, arson, home invasion, weapon possession by a felon, grand larceny auto theft and burglary in connection with the slaying. He pleaded not guilty in January.

CNN’s Steve Almasy, Jeffrey Acevedo and Dave Alsup contributed to this report.