Crime - Sacto 911

Folsom prison officials investigate fatal shooting of inmate after fight breaks out

The security entrance at California State Prison, Sacramento, is seen in this file photo. An inmate is suspected in the slaying of his cellmate this week.
The security entrance at California State Prison, Sacramento, is seen in this file photo. An inmate is suspected in the slaying of his cellmate this week. Bee file

Correctional officers opened fire Friday afternoon on four inmates involved in a fight in Recreation Yard B at California State Prison-Sacramento, killing Jamie Mardis of Kern County, who was serving 11 years for second-degree robbery and two years for making and possessing a deadly weapon behind bars.

Officials investigating the incident at the Folsom prison said two inmates with shivs, or stabbing weapons, attacked a third inmate in the rec yard. Correctional officers said they tried to break up the fight, using pepper-spray grenades and firing a warning shot with a Ruger Mini-14, but the melee continued and a fourth inmate joined in, according to a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation news release.

One of two additional shots from the Ruger Mini-14 struck and killed Mardis, 38, was pronounced dead at the prison’s medical unit at 2:30 p.m. A second inmate was taken to an outside hospital for treatment of a gunshot wound and is in critical condition, the CDCR said.

The other two inmates involved in the altercation suffered minor injuries and were treated at the prison. Their names, and the name of the second inmate who was shot, are being withheld pending an investigation.

Two inmate-manufactured weapons were recovered at the scene. No staff members were injured. The incident is being investigated by the prison Investigative Services Unit and will be referred to the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office. The Office of the Inspector General was notified. CDCR also sent a Deadly Force Investigations Team to investigate. A deadly force review board will conduct a full review of the incident, officials said.

Inmate movement and programming is limited during the investigation. California State Prison, Sacramento is a maximum-security prison that houses approximately 2,100 general population inmates and employs about 1,700 people. The institution houses long-term inmates, inmates requiring specialized mental health programming, and inmates with high-risk medical concerns.

Stephen Magagnini: 916-321-1072, @SteveMagagnini

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