Crescent City, CA - Eight corrections officers and seven inmates have been hospitalized following a prison riot at Pelican Bay State Prison which resulted in five inmates being shot.
Several hundred high-security inmates were in an exercise yard on Wednesday when two began fighting. The corrections officers waded into the giant crowd of prisoners to try to break up the fight, using batons and pepper spray, according to LA Times.
Large groups of prisoners then ran into the fight and attacked the corrections officers. Other corrections officers had to fire 19 .223 rounds from their rifles and three 40mm rounds to stop the attack.
Five of the seven hospitalized inmates are now carrying extra lead in their bodies, but all have survived. One of the shot inmates is being airlifted to get a higher level of care.
Two of the eight injured corrections officers had "significant injuries," but are expected to be released soon. At least one officer will need future surgery.
“They all had ... facial injuries, bumps, bruises, contusions,” California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokeswoman Terry Thornton said. “It's a frightening incident. It's frightening to have inmates just swarm you to overwhelm you and attack you.”
“We're encouraged that the officers weren't injured more than they were,” Thornton said.
Every day corrections officers go to work so that they can be surrounded by hostile inmates with nothing to lose. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers as they protect society from the inmates within.
Thankfully, it sounds like after some recovery, all of the corrections officers be OK.
What do you think can be done to better protect our corrections officers? We'd like to hear what you think. Please let us know in the comments.