Corrections Officer Rhonda Jean Russell

Corrections Officer Rhonda Jean Russell

Blair County Prison, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Add to My Heroes

Rhonda Jean Russell

Corrections Officer Rhonda Russell was shot and killed after a struggle for her firearm at the holding area of the Central Court building at 615 Fourth Street in Altoona.

A male inmate attacked and disarmed Officer Russell while waiting for a court hearing. An Altoona police officer who was in the court building saw the altercation between Officer Russell and the suspect. The suspect had restrained Officer Russell and aimed the weapon at the officer. The officer shot at the suspect, but the suspect moved Officer Russell into the line of fire. She was transported to UPMC Altoona, where she succumbed to her wounds.

The inmate who attacked Officer Russell was charged with murder of the second degree and murder of a law enforcement officer of the second degree.

Officer Russell had served 16 years with the Blair County Prison. She is survived by her three sons, fiancé, and parents.


  • Age 47
  • Tour 16 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire (Inadvertent)
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender In custody

crossfire, escape attempt, prisoner custody

Most Recent Reflection

View all 135 Reflections

Dear Officer Russell,
A year ago today you made the ultimate sacrifice. Words alone cannot express how sad this makes me. I did the job that you were doing and know that it was never easy. Besides being sad I'm also very proud of you that you showed no fear in protecting those around you. We will never forget you.

Rhonda L. Fleming #59416
Correctional Officer (Ret)
California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation

November 17, 2022

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.