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Corrections Officer Rhonda Jean Russell


November 17, 2021

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 officer shot at the suspect but inadvertently struck Officer Russell. She was transported to UPMC Altoona where she succumbed to her wounds.

The inmate who attacked Officer Russell was charged with criminal homicide, attempted criminal homicide, kidnapping, and other related charges.

Officer Russell is survived by her three sons and parents.

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