Related topics

Inmate Killed in Fight at State Prison

September 28, 1996

REPRESA, Calif. (AP) _ Guards fired live ammunition to break up a fight between gangs of black and Hispanic inmates in the yard of a maximum-security prison Friday. One inmate was killed and 13 were injured, five critically.

Authorities said at least 15 shots were fired as a last resort after the 100 inmates at California State Prison-Sacramento ignored orders to lie down on the ground.

They continued to fight as guards fired rubber bullets and then warning shots before switching to real bullets. The riot was finally brought under control a half-hour after it began.

``It was evidently a fight between two gangs within the prison,″ Gov. Pete Wilson said during a Capitol news conference. ``The gangs are racially organized, and this was a fight between the African-American gang and the Latino gang.″

The dead prisoner was identified as Victor Hugo Flores, 22, who was sentenced in Los Angeles in 1994 to 18 years for voluntary manslaughter and attempted second-degree murder.

Flores suffered at least one gunshot wound, but the wound was in the buttocks and the cause of death was not immediately clear, said Corrections Department spokeswoman Kati Corsaut.

Among the injured inmates, three suffered gunshot wounds, while 10 were stabbed with handmade knives, Corsaut said. Eleven of the inmates were taken to a hospital. Five of them were in critical condition _ three with gunshot wounds and two with stab wounds. Four guards suffered minor injuries.

At least 200 inmates and nine unarmed guards were in the exercise yard when the fight started about 9 a.m., said Corrections spokeswoman Linda Howell. White prisoners in the yard were not fighting, she said.

Authorities said prison rules call for guards to fire on inmates only after all other efforts to stop a riot fail.

The prison _ commonly known as ``New Folsom″ _ is located next to the older Folsom State Prison made famous in the song by country singer Johnny Cash _ houses 3,100 inmates.

Nearly three-quarters of the inmates at the 10-year-old prison have committed murders, manslaughters, sex offenses, kidnaps, robberies and assaults. More than 38 percent are black and 25 percent are Hispanic.

Update hourly