Guards open fire during Calif. prison riot

December 7, 2011 - 6:45 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Prison guards shot some prisoners as they broke up a fight involving 50 inmates Wednesday 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.

About 50 inmates were involved and an unknown number of staff were injured, said Terry Thornton, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. "We don't have a firm number yet. At least nine inmates have been transported to local hospitals for treatment of stab wounds, gunshot wounds and blunt force trauma."

The employees were hurt responding to the incident and were not targets of inmates' attack, she said.

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 the earlier disturbance at the prison, which opened in 1986.