Correctional Officer Kristopher Moules died after he and an inmate fell down an elevator shaft during a struggle inside of the Luzerne County Correctional Facility.
Subj. Gilliam and his fellow inmates on the fifth floor of the Water Street prison were fetching their dinner trays from Moules at the cell block door around 5:30 p.m.
When the last tray was handed out, Gilliam approached the cell block door, which had not yet closed and locked, and began a heated discussion with Moules and another corrections officer who was in a locked control room above the cell block floor.
Moules advised Gilliam to exit the cell block, apparently to avoid a confrontation. Gilliam exited into the hallway and initiated a verbal confrontation with Moules and the control room corrections officer.
As the confrontation escalated, the control room officer ordered Gilliam to be handcuffed. As Moules tried to handcuff Gilliam, Gilliam began a physical altercation with him.
The control room officer sounded the 'all available guards' alarm and exited the locked control room to assist Moules. As the control room officer began to assist, Gilliam pulled Moules backwards towards the elevator and hit the elevator door.
The door immediately gave way at the base and swung out into the elevator shaft as if hinged on top, even though the elevator is designed with a single door that is only supposed slide laterally.
The two disappeared into the shaft, with Gilliam still pulling Moules, and the door swung immediately closed behind them.
The control room officer who was attempting to help had to brace himself on the elevator doorway to avoid falling into the shaft himself.
Gilliam and Moules fell 59 feet and 1 inch from the fifth floor to the top of the elevator car, which was stationary on the ground floor.
Coroner Lisman determined both men died of multiple traumatic injuries resulting from the fall into the elevator shaft. He ruled Gilliamís manner of death was accidental.
Moulesí death was ruled a homicide, investigators said, because 'although inmate Gilliam did not intend to cause his own death, his actions set in motion a chain of events which led to the death of C.O. Kristopher Moules.'