SHIRLEY -- Authorities are looking for a Shirley inmate who walked away from the prison Monday morning. How he got away is not being shared with the public at this time.

Tamik Kirkland, 24, was declared an escapee by MCI Shirley Minimum at 7:37 a.m, according to Diane Wiffin, director of public affairs for the Massachusetts Department of Correction.

The DOC Fugitive Apprehension Unit was notified along with state and local police.

Kirkland was serving a sentence ranging between two years six months to four years for weapon offenses out of Hampden Superior Court. This was his first state incarceration.

He was sentenced on November 19, 2009. Court records indicate that, in connection with an attempted murder in 2008, Kirkland pled guilty to possessing a large-capacity firearm, other weapons charges, and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

His parole eligibility was February 15, 2012, and his release date was August 16, 2013. He's from Springfield.

The DOC says that when Kirkland is apprehended, he will be returned to higher custody.

"The DOC will work with the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office to pursue criminal charges," said Wiffin. "If Kirkland is convicted of escape, his sentence could be extended."

-- Mary E. Arata