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Teen murder suspect escapes from hospital parking lot in Philadelphia

A 17-year-old murder suspect has escaped custody after being brought to hospital, launching a manhunt by Philadelphia police for a fugitive they consider “dangerous”.

Shane Pryor, a teenage prisoner, escaped from the emergency room parking lot of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia just before midday on Wednesday after he was taken there for an apparent hand injury.

By 12.29pm on Wednesday, it is believed that Mr Pryor had obtained transportation out of University City. The US Marshals Service Philadelphia said in an update that they believe the fugitive may be operating a stolen Ford F-150 with PA Tag ZTS-0503.

Police announced on Friday that an 18-year-old named Michael Diggs has reportedly been arrested and charged with aiding the prisoner in his escape. He allegedly picked up Mr Pryor in a cream-coloured Ford.

Mr Diggs has been charged with hindering apprehension, escape, use of communication facility and criminal conspiracy, police announced.

Mr Pryor, who was taken to the hospital from the juvenile justice services centre, is thought to have run from the area on foot, said Frank Vanore, the deputy commissioner of investigations, in a news conference on Wednesday.

He had not even made it into the hospital when he escaped after exiting a vehicle and proceeded to run from building to building nearby, police said.

Pryor was caught on surveillance footage after he escaped custody (Philadelphia Police Department)
Pryor was caught on surveillance footage after he escaped custody (Philadelphia Police Department)

Mr Vanore described Mr Pryor as a Black male with a light complexion, 5’7" and weighing 180 pounds, the outlet said. He was last seen wearing blue sweatpants, a blue sweatshirt and slides with socks on his feet.

The prisoner was last spotted in the University Avenue and Civic Centre Boulevard area and is not thought to be near the hospital any longer, so no lockdown has been put in place in the area.

The US Marshals Service Philadelphia released surveillance footage of Mr Pryor on Thursday.

They said he was in the Hub for Clinical Collaboration lobby around five minutes after his escape.

Mr Pryor was not handcuffed when he made his escape from the parking lot, Mr Vanore said, and it is unclear whether he was shackled up to that moment.

The escapee has been in custody since 2020 at the age of 14, and is still awaiting a trial.

Mr Pryor was originally arrested over accusations that he shot and killed a woman in 2020 (US Marshals Service Philadelphia)
Mr Pryor was originally arrested over accusations that he shot and killed a woman in 2020 (US Marshals Service Philadelphia)

He is being accused of shooting and killing Tanya Harris in an alleyway in Holmesburg in October 2020, according to court documents seen by 6ABC.

The fugitive is alleged to have told police he solicited Harris for sex, but that another man shot her, the outlet reported.

His mother, who didn’t want to be identified, is urging her son to turn himself back in, according to 6ABC.

“Just turn yourself in so it don’t get any worse than it has to be... mommy is fighting for you, I’ll always be fighting for you,” she said, according to the outlet.

Paul DiMaio, Mr Pyror’s attorney, also said, according to CBS that “this is a case where if he’s innocent, he’s maintained his innocence all along; let’s prove that in court. We need to follow the procedure and not just be on the run”.

“Whether he’s scared or whatever reason, he needs to turn himself in," he added.

Mr DiMaio also told NBC10 that his client has always maintained his innocence.

Harris’s sister said that if  Mr Pryor was innocent, he should turn himself in to clear his name in court.

"My family is going through it and it’s like my sister is murdered a second time," said Harris’s sister, according to 6ABC.

Mr Vanore said that they don’t want anyone to approach Mr Pryor, but if they see him they should give the authorities a call.

The Marshals Service is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information about Mr Pryor.