4 Prison Guards Attacked in California

TEHACHAPI, Calif. (AP) -- All of the state's prisons were locked down as a precaution Thursday after two inmates attacked four officers at the California Correctional Institution, a corrections official said.

Two sergeants and an officer were treated for lacerations, stab and puncture wounds, said Terry Thornton, a spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The three men were in stable condition at hospitals. A fourth officer, a woman, suffered unknown injuries and was also taken to a hospital.

The two inmates involved in the attack are members of the Surenos, a Southern California gang, the Los Angeles Times reported on its Web site Thursday, citing corrections officials.

State prisons were to remain locked down until corrections staff could determine whether the stabbing was an isolated incident, Thornton said.

The attackers rushed the guards in an office on the maximum security general population yard shortly after 1 p.m., she said. Guards used pepper spray, batons and physical force to stop the attack, corrections officers said.

The two inmates were treated for injuries they sustained from the force guards used to stop the attack and were taken to area hospitals for treatment.

One of the attackers was serving a 117-year sentence for attempted murder and assault with deadly weapon. The other was serving a 25-year sentence for first-degree murder.

The Investigative Services Unit at the prison and agents from Department of Corrections headquarters will investigate the incident, Thornton said. Two homemade weapons were found at the scene.

The prison was built in 1933 to hold about 2,800 female inmates, but currently houses 4,705 male inmates, according to the Department of Corrections. It employs 2,001 personnel.

The prison, 40 miles southeast of Bakersfield in Kern County, was the scene of a race riot in February 2005 involving 480 black and Hispanic inmates that left three inmates injured.

The last California prison guard to die in the line of duty was stabbed in January 2005 at the California Institution for Men in Chino. It was the first death of a Department of Corrections guard on duty since 1985.

Calls seeking comment from a spokesman at the prison were not returned Thursday afternoon.

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