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Escaped convict dies in shootout


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SEATTLE, Washington (Reuters) -- Vowing that he would never go back to prison, an inmate who escaped using a fake gun made out of cardboard earlier this week got hold of a real gun and died late Tuesday after being shot five times in a showdown with police, officials said Wednesday.

Harold McCord, 36, died after bring taken to an area hospital with gunshot wounds, several in the chest, a police spokesman said.

Police at the apartment complex where the shootout occurred said McCord had threatened to shoot them when they found him.

McCord had been on the run since fleeing a Pierce County courthouse in Tacoma, about 30 miles south of Seattle, Monday, by pulling out an object that appeared to be a small handgun and pointing it at the head of a police officer.

After hijacking a truck outside the courthouse, McCord made his way to Monroe, Washington, about 30 miles north of Seattle, where the shootout occurred.

One of the eight officers who found McCord was also injured, but was in stable condition with gunshot wounds to the hand and arm. It was unclear how he received his wounds and an investigation was going on, police said.

McCord was a convicted inmate who had already been sentenced to life in prison under Washington state's "three strikes" law for kidnapping, robbery, assault and harassment.

McCord, who was back in court for another hearing, did not have any shackles or handcuffs in the courtroom because of the court's policy, police said.

The fake gun, made out of cardboard taken from the backs of legal pads, stuffed with toilet paper and covered in ink from a ballpoint pen, was later found by the side of the road.



Copyright 2003 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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