Prison riot leaves one dead, others injured

Published 1:20 am Monday, May 21, 2012

LAUREN WOOD/THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Bottom, armed men appeared on top of the prison shortly after 10:30 p.m. An hour later, authorities reported that the situation was under control.

NATCHEZ — White smoke, flames and pepper spray grenades rose above the razor wire fence at the Adams County Corrections Center Sunday in effort to quell a nearly nine-hour prison riot that left one guard dead and panicked hundreds of area residents.

At least four other staff members and one prisoner were hospitalized following the incident, which started at 2:40 p.m. and continued until approximately 11:30 p.m., according to Adams County Sheriff Chuck Mayfield and a press release by the Corrections Corporation of America, the owner and operator of ACCC.

To see more photos from Sunday night’s prison riot click here.

LAUREN WOOD/THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Inmates set a fire outside the prison just after 8 p.m. using wood and other items found on site.

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Other employees were treated on site. A total of three inmates sustained injuries including a stab wound, a concussion and rib injuries, Mayfield said, which he said the inmates likely sustained from other inmates.

A dozen or more ambulances responded to the scene, as well as at least two Air Evac Lifeteam helicopters.

Adams County Coroner James Lee said he could not provide further information about the guard who died. Neither Lee nor the prison would release the person’s name.

Mayfield said law enforcement covered the perimeter shortly after 3 p.m. to prevent any escapes from the outer fence as special operations teams worked to get employees, who were being held as hostages, to safety.

By 9 p.m., Mayfield said agencies had “taken back most of the interior,” but were still working to gain control of the prison.

At that point eight employees remained inside, some of which had contact with law enforcement. Mayfield said Warden Vance Laughlin and other members of the special operations team were communicating with the rioters.