Guards open fire during Calif. prison riot

AP News
Posted: Dec 07, 2011 6:52 PM
Guards open fire during Calif. prison riot

Guards shot at least two prisoners Wednesday as they broke up a fight involving 50 inmates at a prison east of Sacramento, corrections officials said.

Inmates stabbed each other during the fight, and some employees suffered minor injuries as they intervened. The outbreak was in a maximum security area of the California State Prison, Sacramento.

The conditions of the two inmates hit by gunfire were not immediately known, but they were among 10 wounded inmates taken to outside hospitals, said correctional Sgt. Tony Quinn, a prison spokesman. The other inmates had stab wounds and blunt force trauma, he said. Their conditions also were not immediately known, Quinn said.

"There were guys being brought off the yard left and right" with injuries after the fight in a maximum-security exercise yard, Quinn said.

About 50 inmates were involved, and an unknown number of employees were injured, said Terry Thornton, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Besides firing about seven bullets, guards used pepper spray and fired rubber projectiles to break up the fight. The employees were hurt responding to the incident and were not targets of the inmates' attacks, she said.

Most of the prison's 2,800 inmates were locked in their cells while the disturbance was investigated.

The prison, which is also known as New Folsom, is next to the much older Folsom State Prison, about 20 miles east of the state capital. It also was the scene of a riot in May that sent six inmates to outside hospitals, and two of those inmates were treated for serious injuries.

Guards broke up that earlier riot with pepper spray and warning shots, without shooting any inmates. No employees were injured in that disturbance at the prison, which opened in 1986.