RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCT) — The NC Department of Public Safety reports a prisoner at Central Prison in Raleigh was killed after an assault with a weapon by several other offenders.

Ronald S. Rhodes (NC Department of Public Safety photo)

Offender Ronald S. Rhodes (#0850872) was being housed in the prison as a “safekeeper” at the request of Wake County. The incident occurred at approximately 9:30 a.m. on the recreation yard, officials said. The prison’s first responders performed life-saving measures on Rhodes until the arrival of local paramedics, who also worked to resuscitate the offender. He was pronounced deceased at 10:32 a.m.

The prison was placed on lockdown as the State Capitol Police investigate. The medical examiner will determine a cause of death. The Department of Public Safety is also conducting an internal investigation.

A safekeeper is an offender who is temporarily housed at a state prison facility pre-trial. County jails request the state take in safekeepers for a variety of reasons to include treatment for mental or physical health reasons, or to avoid housing co-defendants together or if the individual’s safety has been threatened.