Prison escapee identified as man accused in four Philadelphia murders

One of two prisoners who officials say escaped a Philadelphia correctional facility through a hole in a perimeter fence is accused of killing four people in three different shootings.

Ameen Hurst, 18, escaped from the Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center with 24-year-old Nasir Grant on Sunday night, according to a release from the city's Prison Department. 

Hurst and Grant escaped the prison grounds through a hole that was cut in a fence surrounding a recreation yard. It was the first prison break the Philadelphia prison system since 2010, Commissioner Blanche Carney said. 

"We have protocols in place and those protocols were not followed," said Carney, who admitted that the prison fence does not have an alarm to detect a breach. "That yard should have been secured, and the fence not breached."

Hurst's deadly rap sheet dates back to Christmas Eve 2020, when investigators believe he fatally shot Dyewou Nyshawn Scruggs at a property on the 1800 block of Wynnewood Road. The following March, authorities believe Hurst opened fire on four people in a Philadelphia parking lot, killing 2 and leaving 2 others injured. 


About a week later, Hurst is accused of fatally shooting Rodney Hargrove as he waited for SEPTA bus after posting bail at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility. Investigators believe Hurst was inside a car that chased Hargrove back onto prison grounds through an open gate where he was shot to death. 

Investigators previously said that Hargrove's murder may have been a case of mistaken identity. 

"He's a very dangerous individual from what we know, and we are looking for the public's help to get him back," Inspector Frank Vanore told reporters Monday. "We want to get this individual back in custody." 

Ameen Hurst (left), Nasir Grant (right)

Meanwhile, investigators say Grant was incarcerated last September on weapon and drug charges. 

Commissioner Carney believes a breakdown in the prison systems headcount protocol is to blame for the Hurst and Grant escaping. She told reporters at a Monday night press conference that the duo missed headcounts at 11 p.m., 3 a.m. and 7 a.m. 

She was not made aware of their Sunday night escape until 3 p.m. Monday.

"Clearly, the system screwed up and people didn't do what they're supposed to do, it's clear," Mayor Jim Kenney said. "We want to find out exactly who, exactly how often, and what we got to do to shore back up again."

U.S. Marshals are offering $5,000 each for information that leads to the arrests of Hurst and Grant. Authorities warn they are armed and dangerous. 

Anyone with information is urged to contact authorities at 1-800-336-0102 or 215-686-TIPS.