WINDSOR, N.C. (WNCN) – A man imprisoned in North Carolina for murdering a 2-year-old in 2014 was killed in an assault Tuesday afternoon, officials said.

Semajs Short, 24, was attacked in the housing area at the Bertie Correctional Institution in Windsor just before 2:15 p.m. Tuesday.

First responders performed life-saving measures, but he died less than a half hour later, a news release from Department of Public Safety spokesperson John Bull said.

Three other prisoners were hurt in the group assault. They were taken to an outside medical facility with injuries that were described as non-life-threatening, the release said.

The attack led to a modified lockdown at the prison. No staff members were injured, officials said.

The murder of Dy’Unanna Anderson

Semajs Short was about five years into a 31-year sentence for second-degree murder. He pleaded guilty to the 2014 murder of 2-year-old Dy’Unanna Anderson in Halifax County, reports said.

Short was 17 years old at the time of the murder. According to reports, the girl’s murder was in retribution for the murder of a 15-year-old, Keyuon Garner, which happened earlier in the same evening.

According to reports from the courtroom, Short and another person stood on an air conditioning unit outside a room where the child and her grandmother, Catherine Price, slept. Dy’Unanna was killed and Price was shot several times.

Price had a bullet lodged in her skull and had to be revived twice, according to RRSpin.

Short was one of four people arrested days after the deadly shooting.

“This was a horrendous event which shocked our entire community especially when it involved the murder of an innocent 2-year-old girl and the attempted murder of her grandmother. It is my job as district attorney to hold people accountable for their actions and their roles in certain crimes.

“Our homes are where we should feel safe and when events like this occur, it shakes our sense of security in the sanctity of our own homes. My first duty as district attorney is to protect the public and the citizens of Halifax County from further harm from these individuals.”

District Attorney Valeria M. Asbel’s 2017 statement

Short’s five years in prison

Semajs Short was convicted of second-degree murder on April 3, 2017 and admitted into prison the following day. He was to spend at least 25 years in prison and was projected to be released on July 31, 2044, according to DPS records.

Records showed that Short had more than two dozen infractions during his almost five years behind bars. Many were violent in nature, such as fighting with weapons and gang involvement. He had also been in trouble for lock tampering.

The most recent of Short’s infractions was for having a banned communication device.