Updated 04/01/15 – 10:40 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — Police in Kankakee County continued a manhunt for a convicted killer who escaped from jail early Wednesday.

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Savannah Bell (Source: Illinois State Police)

Savannah Bell (Source: Illinois State Police)

Taylor escaped from the Jerome Combs Detention Center early Wednesday. The Kankakee County Sheriff’s Office said Taylor overpowered an officer around 3 a.m., and took the officer’s keys and uniform. Police believe Taylor also has the officer’s service weapon, which would have been in his vehicle. As of late Wednesday evening, Taylor is still at large.

Kankakee County Sheriff Timothy Bukowski said Taylor was assigned to a unit where inmates are supposed to be locked down, but he had managed to get out of his cell. Correctional officer Deandre Harrington, a 10-year-veteran correctional officer, likely would have conducted a count of the pod when he came on duty four hours before the escape.

When Harrington was conducting routine rounds at 3 a.m., Taylor attacked him, choking and beating him unconscious.

Surveillance picture of Taylor escaping prison. (Source: Kankakee County Sheriff)

Surveillance picture of Taylor escaping prison. (Source: Kankakee County Sheriff)

“It appears that he somehow was able to get out of the cell, and hid himself somewhere within the facility, in the pod, and then when the opportunity arose, he attacked the officer, beat him, choked him,” Bukowski said. “Everyone should have been locked down when [Harrington] came in at the start of his shift, and he also made a check, and then it was shortly before 3 a.m. when he was making some rounds that he was attacked. We still don’t know how it came to be that [Taylor] was not locked in his cell.”

Taylor donned Harrington’s uniform, fled the jail, and stole the officer’s personal vehicle; a brown 2012 Chevy Equinox with Illinois license plate P506660. Officials said it was the first time an inmate has escaped from Combs Detention Center.

Harrington was found in a shower about 20 minutes after Taylor escaped. The officer was in intensive care Wednesday morning at St. Mary’s Hospital in Kankakee.

Police said Taylor was wearing Harrington’s uniform, and had to pass through three secure doors, and get clearance to get out of the jail. Investigators were reviewing surveillance camera footage to determine how Taylor got out of his cell, and then out of the jail itself.

“It looks, right now, speculation on my part is somebody didn’t do their job properly,” Bukowski said.

Police also reported a 15-year-old girl went missing Wednesday morning and may have been with Taylor. She was later found safe and questioned by police before being released. Police said her case was unrelated to Taylor.

Taylor recently was convicted of murder in the shooting death of 21-year-old Nelson Williams Jr. in 2013, and was awaiting sentencing.

This wasn’t Taylor’s first attempt to escape custody.

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After his conviction last month on two counts of first-degree murder, Taylor allegedly allegedly tried to escape from the courtroom, but was subdued by sheriff’s deputies.

The Daily Journal reports Taylor also tried to escape on June 24, 2013, after his arrest on the murder charges. He managed to flee from the Kankakee police department, but was caught several blocks away.

The sheriff said it’s possible cutbacks in correctional officers at the jail last year might have contributed to Wednesday’s escape.

“It’s a little premature now. Certainly the cuts had an impact on our abilities, but we believe that what we had done at the time was appropriate,” he said.

Around 9:15 a.m., authorities found the officer’s stolen Equinox parked in a driveway on Lincoln Avenue in Kankakee, after a woman called police to report the vehicle was blocking her garage.

Gretchen Jackson said she did not recognize the vehicle, so she called police to have it towed.

“I gave them the license plate number. They ran the plates, and when the officer got here, he pretty much put me on the ground, pulled his gun out, and said that there was a convict that had murdered someone, who stole a car and overtook a correctional officer,” she said. “That was the car that he took from the correctional officer, as well as he had a gun, and other clothing, so he wanted to make sure I was safe.”

Police found this stolen Chevy Equinox abandoned in a driveway in Kankakee, several hours after an escaped inmate allegedly stole it from the Kankakee county jail as he was escaping. (Credit: CBS)

Police found this stolen Chevy Equinox abandoned in a driveway in Kankakee, several hours after an escaped inmate allegedly stole it from the Kankakee county jail as he was escaping. (Credit: CBS)

Police quickly surrounded Jackson’s home. Within minutes, the area was swarming with armed police officers, some wearing body armor. Police also brought in K-9 units, while officers went door to door in a search for Taylor.

Kamron Taylor’s aunt spoke to CBS 2. She says his family tried to raise him the right way.

“Teaching him right from wrong…gotta raise him the right way,” she said. “The devil is always busy and he makes his own choices.”

A friend of Taylor who didn’t want to give her name told CBS 2, “I’m very worried, very worried… clearly you can see that he has a short fuse, but it’s definitely not safe…just find him.”

Police said Taylor is considered armed and dangerous.

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Anyone who sees him should call 911. Authorities were offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to Taylor’s arrest.