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Snake River Correctional Institution inmate shot by guard August 21, 2011

Posted by FairSentencing in : Current News , trackback

A corrections officer stationed in a tower overlooking the recreation yard shot and wounded an inmate at the Snake River Correctional Institution Thursday night when two inmates refused orders to stop beating a third inmate, according to the Oregon Department of Corrections.

Only the most basic of details surrounding the shooting have been released.

The department withheld the name of the inmate, where he was shot and his condition, citing federal privacy regulations prohibiting the release of medical information.

The inmate was taken from the institution to an area hospital to receive medical care, said Jeanine Hohn, the department’s acting public affairs administrator. The two other inmates received medical treatment at the institution.

Oregon State Police troopers assigned to the criminal investigations division have been sent to the prison to conduct an investigation, said Lt. Gregg Hastings, the agency’s public information officer.

“It’s like any officer-involved shooting,” Hastings said. “We will be interviewing inmates, officers and any eyewitnesses. We’re trying to determine the facts under which the use of force was taken and if it was appropriate. The case will then be sent to the district attorney.”

Hastings said it could take several weeks to complete the investigation.

Hohn said it was the second time an inmate has been shot by an officer stationed in a state prison guard tower. In April 2008 an inmate was shot at Snake River after failing to respond to orders during a large-scale disturbance in the yard.

In the most recent case, two inmates attacked a third at about 8:15 p.m. in the Complex 2 yard, Hohn said.

“They were ordered to stop and refused,” Hohn said. “Depending on the situation, a warning shot can be fired. In this case, a shot was fired to stop the assault.”

At the time of the assault, three officers were in the yard. In addition, an armed correction officer is stationed in each of the two towers overlooking the yard. Those officers, she said undergo firearms training and must pass annual qualification standards to use a rifle, shotgun or handgun.

Inmates in Complex Two have been restricted to their cells, Hohn said. Inmates are allowed visitors but will not have access to their unit phones.

Administrators will evaluate the situation over the weekend, Hohn said, and restrictions could be lifted.



1. cary lundgren - September 17, 2011

a lot of other things could have been by a brave gaurd!