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Guards fire warning shots after inmates riot at Wasco State Prison

June 26, 2012 |  5:46 pm

Wasco State Prison
Prison guards fired three warning shots Tuesday after about 80 inmates began rioting at Wasco State Prison-Reception Center, northwest of Bakersfield.

No inmates were struck by the three lethal rounds fired from the Ruger Mini-14 rifle, but two prisoners were taken to hospitals for injuries they sustained during the brawl, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Guards were forced to fire the shots because blast grenades and pepper spray failed to stop the rioting, which broke out on an exercise yard, authorities said.

Guards recovered numerous inmate-made weapons. The cause of the riot was under investigation. 

The prison, which opened in 1991, houses about 5,200 inmates.


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Photo: Wasco State Prison-Reception Center. Credit: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation