HENRIETTA, Mo. — The Ray County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a man who escaped from the county jail.
Deputies say Justin Robinson, who is considered to be a danger to the community, escaped from the Ray County Jail in Henrietta, Missouri, on Tuesday morning.
The Ray County Sheriff’s Office said Robinson was one of two inmates who escaped early Tuesday after stabbing a correctional officer. One of those inmates was taken into custody, but Robinson is still on the loose.
Officials say Robinson was previously charged and was being held on multiple assault charges for stabbing his pregnant girlfriend back in January. Prosecutors said four children witnessed that stabbing.
Homeland Security and the U.S. Marshals are now involved in the manhunt, which is centered on the city of Richmond.
Robinson was last seen at 2:45 a.m. Tuesday in Richmond, Missouri, near Spartan Street and E. Main Street. Deputies said Robinson was last seen wearing a blue shorts and a white shirt.
He’s described as a Black man, approximately 5-foot-10 and weighs roughly 185 pounds.
Authorities have set up their base of operations at the Richmond Police Department. They have received several tips, but haven’t had a breakthrough yet.
The most concrete tip was that 2:45 a.m. sighting in Richmond. It’s left people living nearby pretty anxious.
“You know, it’s just terrifying to think that there’s somebody here that is that unstable,” Richmond resident Shanda Jarman said.
There were no students at Richmond schools on Tuesday with classes canceled at the recommendation from police.
“I found out early this morning when they sent out a text that they were closing the schools, that the officers had asked to keep our kids home,” Jarman said.
Jarman lives on Wellington Street, near Robinson’s last listed address on court documents. Other neighbors said they’re just as worried.
“This is a smaller town. I moved here to move away from that. That makes me concerned because now when my kids come home from school later, I can’t let them out because I’m like, do I need to carry a gun with me in case he comes up and tries to stab me. That’s a concern,” Alisa Gwatnay, another neighbor, said.
Ray County Sheriff Scott Childers said the correctional officer will be OK after being injured during the two-man breakout.
“He used a homemade shiv out of metal they pulled off the walls inside the jail,” Childers said. “And we were fortunate because the metal is so cheap that when they went to stab, it just basically bent. And that’s what kept it from being a really bad deal.”
Childers said he won’t stop until Robinson is in custody again.
“I got the first one in custody — myself and the other deputy. So I’ve been out all night, and I will not go home or get any rest until we get him caught,” he said.
Neighbors said that can’t happen soon enough.
“He’s going to spend the rest of his life in prison, and he probably just had a hard time dealing with that,” Gwatnay said.
Anyone who sees Robinson or has information on his whereabouts should call 911 or the hotline for this specific case is 866-347-2423. Authorities are asking the public to call if they see anything or especially if they have contact with the suspect.
This is a developing story that will be updated as more information becomes available.