JESSUP, Md. (AP) _ Five prisoners at the Maryland House of Correction, including a convicted murderer, overpowered a guard in the recreation yard to escape Saturday, prison officials said.

One inmate was shot as he ran by a guard tower outside the fence and was recaptured immediately, but four others were still at large late Saturday, said Beverly Marable, a prison spokeswoman.

Ms. Marable said the men briefly held a guard hostage about 2:30 p.m. and then cut through a chain-link fence, scaled another fence and a large air conditioning unit before fleeing into nearby woods.

The fifth escapee, Ronald Robinson, 42, was recaptured when a guard in a tower shot him in the hand during the escape, Ms. Marable said.

Ms. Marable said those at large Saturday were: Douglas Edgerton, 21, serving a 20-year sentence for second-degree murder; Henry Goins, 26, serving 12 years for rape, kidnapping and robbery with a deadly weapon; Irvin Griffin, 28, serving 45 years for two counts of assault with intent to murder; and Clarence Jones, 33, serving 25 years for robbery with a deadly weapon and attempted robbery.

Robinson was serving 15 years and 9 months on robbery charges.

''Shots were fired by two guards as soon as the officers saw them,'' said Ms. Marable. ''We're still not sure if the inmates were all in this together'' or whether they took advantage of a spontaneous opportunity.

At least one of the inmates who overpowered the guard was armed with a homemade knife. It was not known Saturday night how they cut the hole through the wire fence.

The escape is the largest from the 1,600-inmate medium-security institution since 1979 when 30 men escaped, Ms. Marable said.