March 23, 2012
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Contact: Press Office
Today is a difficult day for the Department of Corrections as we lay our fallen officer to rest.
Sgt. Ruben Thomas, a 24-year-old corrections officer at Columbia Correctional Institution in Lake City was attacked and stabbed to death by an inmate on the night of Sunday, March 18. Another officer, William Brewer, was also injured when he responded to the officer down call. We are thankful that Officer Brewer’s injuries were not life threatening.
A terrible incident like this impacts the entire Department and reminds us all how dangerous our profession is and that their bravery is evidence that all of our Corrections Officers are heroes. Our Officers put their lives on the line every day to protect the public, and last Sunday, Sgt. Thomas made the ultimate sacrifice.
Following this senseless tragedy, the outpouring of sympathy for the family of Sgt. Thomas and his co-workers has been tremendous and heartwarming. Financial donations from the Corrections Foundation and from many other donors have been received to help Sgt. Thomas’ family. Criminal Justice agencies from Florida and across the nation have sent delegations to honor Sgt. Thomas at the service to be held today, Friday 23, 2012.
All members of the Florida Department of Corrections will honor the life of Sgt. Thomas by flying their flags at half staff today, and will observe a Moment of Silence at 11:15 A.M. Eastern Standard Time to allow members a moment to reflect on the life of Sgt. Thomas and on the ultimate sacrifice he made.
As outlined in a Memorandum of Agreement with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, FDLE has the lead role in conducting the investigation related to the incident.
Sgt. Thomas’ immediate family thanks the news media for their concern at this difficult time, but request that the family’s wish for privacy be honored on this day. For any media requests, please contact the Department’s Public Affairs Office (850-488-0420).