More than 100 inmates were involved, Lt. Robert Kelsey, public information officer at the prison, said at about 1:20 p.m. At that time, there were no injuries that appeared life-threatening, he said.
According to dispatch communication Friday morning, one subject with 17 stab wounds was being prepared for air-ambulance transport. Others were receiving medical attention, as well.
“So far, we’ve had four inmates sent out to local area hospitals for higher-level care — more than we could handle here with our on-duty staff,” Kelsey said. That number later was updated to five.
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The riot was in Facility A of the 420-acre state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation prison, located on O’Byrnes Ferry Road in Tuolumne County.
To quell the violence, an officer from an elevated tower post fired a warning shot from a Ruger Mini-14 rifle — the only lethal ammo fired, Kelsey said. Officers also fired nonlethal direct-impact rounds and used OC (oleoresin capsicum) blast grenades — basically, pepper spray grenades — to gain compliance, the lieutenant said. Direct-impact rounds typically mean rubber bullets, pepper-spray balls, bean bags and the like.
No officers were injured, he said.
Because of the incident, all visitation, both general and family, for Facility A was canceled through the weekend, the post says.
In reaction to the riot, correctional officers systematically restrained all inmates who were on the yard, Kelsey said, and got the injured to the triage and treatment area.
The immediate goal, still under way Friday afternoon, was to treat all injured (no estimate of how many was available) and get all inmates safely back in their cells.
Prison staff will conduct searches and interviews and otherwise investigate the cause, Kelsey said.