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Corrections Officer Killed: Danville Remembers

DANVILLE—It was October 12, 1987. Federal corrections officer Robert Miller was helping escort an inmate out of Geisinger Medial Center near Danville when shots rang out.

Miller was shot in the heart and killed.

Investigators said it was all a set-up. The inmate took off with two others.

There was a chase and then all three were arrested.

More than 25 years later, people still remember that day.

“Everybody I think had the same reaction, I think, glad it wasn`t me and feel sorry for the people who got hurt. It`s a sary situation because you`re in a place where you think you area safe and all of a sudden,” said John Shuman of Danville.

John Shuman’s wife was working at the medical center the day Miller was shot just outside.

Shuman remembered family members being panicked.

“Of course it shook up a lot of people. Her family lives in Florida and they were actually calling to find out if everybody was all right.”

Others said they, too, remember that day, when Miller lost his life on the job.

“It`s not something that happens in a small town, so it`s yeah, i mean people were really shocked by that. “

In a small town like danville, it`s quite an event, I shouldn`t say it`s an event. You don`t want it to happen, but it did,” said Jeff Swartz of Danville.

After Miller’s death and the recent death of corrections officer Eric Williams, people said they realize more than ever how dangerous it can be to work in the prison system.

“They don`t really have any protection, they shouldn`t even be in there with the inmates,” said Shuman.

Miller was a senior officer at the federal penitentary in Lewisburg.
Williams is the 25th federal corrections officer to be killed on duty in the U.S. since 1901.