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Colo. Correctional Officer Killed, Second Hurt in Assault

Sept. 26--The corrections officer killed Monday at the Arkansas Valley Correctional Facility has been identified as Sgt. Mary Ricard, 55.

Ricard and Sgt. Lori Gann were assaulted in the prison's kitchen during breakfast preparations, according to the Colorado Department of Corrections.

Ricard was a nine-year veteran of DOC. She started her career at the Buena Vista Correctional Facility in 2003 and transferred to the Ordway prison in 2007, a DOC press release said. Ricard lived in the Ordway area.

Ricard was killed while working on her day off.

"She was just helping out.

She was very dedicated," DOC spokeswoman Katherine Sanguinetti said.

Gann was taken to Parkview Medical Center for treatment and her condition was not available Tuesday.

The DOC did not release details of the assault Tuesday.

However, some media outlets in Denver reported late Tuesday that the suspect in the killing is inmate Miguel Alonso Contreras-Perez, 33.

Contacted late Tuesday, Sanguinetti would not confirm Contreras-Perez as the suspect.

"We're not identifying any (suspects), updates or anything regarding the incident at this time, because it's still under investigation," Sanguinetti said, adding that information could be released today.

The Colorado Office of the Inspector General and Colorado Bureau of Investigation are leading the

investigation. The Ordway facility, a medium-security prison for men, remained on lockdown Tuesday and the state's medium and "closed custody" facilities were in partial lockdown.

"It's so the staff from (those prisons) can go support staff at Ark Valley," Sanguinetti said.

Ark Valley's kitchen was closed so meals were prepared at the Limon prison and shipped in.

Sanguinetti said the Ark Valley facility currently houses about 999 inmates, which is below capacity.

Ricard is the 15th officer to be killed in the line of duty. The last officer killed was Sgt. Eric Autobee of Pueblo, who died in 2002 at the Limon prison.

Copyright 2012 - The Pueblo Chieftain, Colo.