A suspect in a killing escaped custody in Philadelphia while being transferred to a hospital, police say

Jan 25, 2024, 10:34 AM

Police released this image of 17-year-old Shane Pryor, who they say escaped from custody in Philade...

Police released this image of 17-year-old Shane Pryor, who they say escaped from custody in Philadelphia on January 24. Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Police Department

(CNN) — A teenage suspect in a 2020 killing escaped from custody Wednesday while being transferred to a Philadelphia hospital, and investigators believe he’s had help evading capture, a source said.

Shane Pryor, 17, escaped just before noon while he was being sent from the Philadelphia Juvenile Justice Services Center to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in the University City neighborhood for a hand injury, police said.

As Pryor was getting out of a vehicle in the driveway of the hospital, he escaped from detention center staff, Frank Vanore, deputy commissioner of investigations for Philadelphia police, said in a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

Pryor ran from the hospital, and he was seen on surveillance video entering various buildings trying to get resources, police said.

When Pryor left the vehicle, he did not appear to have any handcuffs or restraints on him, Vanore said. Investigators believe he wasn’t restrained during the transport either, a law enforcement source close to the manhunt told CNN.

Investigators believe Pryor injured himself to prompt the trip to the hospital and are “highly confident” he has received help from an accomplice to evade police, the source said.

Pryor may be using a stolen, blue Ford truck, the US Marshals Service in Philadelphia said in an online post Wednesday. The vehicle has Pennsylvania license plate ZTS-0503, the service said, without releasing details about why the service thought he might be using the truck or how he might have obtained it.

He weighs about 180 pounds, and he’s about 5 feet, 7 inches tall, Vanore said. He was wearing a dark blue sweatsuit when he fled, Vanore said.

Pryor was being held on a murder charge in a 2020 killing, and has been in the juvenile detention center awaiting trial since he was 14, Vanore said.

CNN has contacted Pryor’s attorney and the Philadelphia Department of Human Services, which runs the juvenile justice center, for comment.

“We are looking in parking garages, which are very, very large – they’re multiple levels – just to see if he’s still in the area,” Vanore said. However, officials did not believe he was in the area of the hospital as of Wednesday afternoon, the deputy commissioner said.

No lockdown was in effect Wednesday in connection with the escape. But Pryor is considered dangerous, and the public should call 911 if he is seen, police said.

“Obviously we don’t want anyone to approach him,” Vanore said. “We’re hoping that if somebody sees an individual walking without a coat – because he doesn’t have one at this point – and a blue sweatsuit, they give us a call.”

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A suspect in a killing escaped custody in Philadelphia while being transferred to a hospital, police say