Facebook Twitter

1 INMATE KILLED BY GUARDS DURING RACIAL RIOT AT PRISON

SHARE 1 INMATE KILLED BY GUARDS DURING RACIAL RIOT AT PRISON

A gang-related melee with racial overtones erupted among more than 300 prisoners at an overcrowded, maximum-security prison, officials said. Guards apparently shot to death one inmate and wounded four.

Guards fired as many as 50 shots Tuesday in an effort to quell the disturbance, which involved up to 325 of the 700 inmates who were out of their cells at the Menard Correctional Center, said Corrections Director Michael Lane.Slain was James Bailey, 34, who was serving time for attempted murder. In all, 21 people were injured, including two guards, said prison spokesman Nic Howell.

"The disturbance certainly was gang-related, and considering the nature of the gangs here, it had definite racial overtones," Lane said.

He said fighting appeared to have started - possibly simultaneously - in the West Cellhouse and the dining room.

Lane said most of the shots were warning shots in the air.

Asked if the gunshots came from the guards, Howell said, "We don't know that for a fact. We would presume." He said prison officials had not recovered any guns "that were not to be there."

One guard had a possible broken jaw, and one received minor buckshot injuries, he said.

Nine inmates were taken to Chester Memorial hospital, four with gunshot wounds, four with stab wounds and one with contusions to the eye and back, a hospital spokesman said.

Howell said the inmate population at Menard, the state's second-oldest prison, was 2,539 last week.