A corrections officer in a tower at the Nebraska State Penitentiary fired a warning shot as an inmate attempted to escape Saturday night from the Lincoln prison.

The inmate reached an internal fence and began to climb it about 7:30 p.m. when other officers deployed chemical agents, State Department of Corrections spokeswoman Dawn-Renee Smith said. The inmate, whose name the department declined to release, continued to climb, and officers physically removed him from the fence.

“The inmate did not breach the inner perimeter, and at no time was the public at risk,” Corrections Director Scott Frakes said.

The prison is surrounded by an internal chain-link fence topped with razor wire. There is a second, identical fence.

Corrections Department criminal investigators will probe the escape attempt and forward the results to the county attorney, Smith said.

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