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Snake River Correctional Institution guards fire two warning shots to stop fight involving nearly 70 inmates

Snake River Correctional Institution in Ontario
Oregon Dept. of Corrections
Snake River Correctional Institution in Ontario

ONTARIO, Ore. (KTVZ) – A fight between two inmates Saturday afternoon in a recreation yard at the Snake River Correctional Institution led to a larger disturbance involving nearly 70 inmates that only stopped when guards fired two warning shots from an observation tower, officials said.

The incident began around 1:40 p.m. Saturday with a “one-on-one altercation” involving two inmates at the Ontario prison, Oregon's largest state prison, which houses about 3,000 adults in custody, the Oregon Department of Corrections said.

It occurred near a shift change, from day to swing shift, when there were about 240 inmates in the Complex 2 yard during recreation time.

After the two inmates involved in the fight were escorted out of the area, a disturbance began involving about 67 other inmates.

Verbal commands attempting to stop the fight were given and a single warning shot was fired from the observation tower into the “warning shot pit,” officials said. Some ceased fighting, but others “failed to stop their aggressive behavior, prompting a second warning shot,” the agency said in a statement. The second shot ended all of the fighting.

Oregon State Police were notified and an internal investigation was begun, during which Complex 2 was put on lockdown status. Those involved in the incident were housed on “administrative hold” status pending the outcome of the investigation.

Visitation for inmates in the complex was canceled Sunday. There is no visiting on Mondays and Tuesdays at the prison.

The inmates involved in the fight were given medical evaluations “as needed,” the department said. No major injuries were reported, and no emergency medical transports to a hospital were required.

DOC Communications Manager Amber Campbell said the agency "appreciates the professional response to the incident by the SRCI staff."

Article Topic Follows: Crime And Courts

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