Thursday, March 19, 2009

SACRAMENTO, CALIF. (AP) - A riot involving more than three dozen inmates at a state prison left one prisoner dead and 16 others injured, as guards fired on brawling inmates to break it up, a corrections official said Thursday.

Oscar Cruz, 23, died at Delano Regional Medical Center after he was stabbed by other inmates during the fight Wednesday at Kern Valley State Prison, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokeswoman Terry Thornton said. Two other inmates were stabbed, four inmates were shot by guards and several other prisoners suffered minor injuries.

No prison employees were hurt.

The fight broke out among 38 Hispanic inmates at the maximum-security prison near Delano, about 30 miles north of Bakersfield, Thornton said. The prison houses about 4,900 inmates.

Cruz had been in prison since 2005 on a robbery conviction with time added because he was involved in a street gang, she said.

Inmates were locked in their cells Thursday, although Hispanic inmates were likely to remain on lockdown through the weekend as investigators examine the cause of the fight, Thornton said.

Four weapons made by inmates were recovered.

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