A man sent to prison two decades ago for his role in a Des Moines gun battle that led to the death of an innocent bystander has escaped from a work release program.

Vincent Cortez Brown did not fire the bullet that killed Phyllis Davis as she was driving home from work on the 8th of April in 1996, but he was driving one of the two vehicles involved in a rolling shoot-out on the streets of Des Moines. A judge involved in ruling on Brown’s unsuccessful appeal of his second degree murder conviction called it a “barbaric shootout.”

Brown was 17 years old when he was arrested. He is now 39. State prison officials say Brown “was not present during a head count at the Fort Des Moines Work Release Center” Sunday afternoon. He’d been at the facility for the past 18 days.