News Releases

Inmate Dies Following Incident At high Desert State Prison

Susanville – On Saturday, September 25 at approximately 11 a.m., a 40-year-old High Desert State Prison (HDSP) inmate was shot and later died of injuries after being involved in a fight with other inmates that required staff to use firearms.

The incident is currently under investigation by the Office of the Inspector General Bureau of Independent Review and the High Desert State Prison Investigative Services unit. Additionally, the Lassen County District Attorney’s Office and the Office of Internal Affairs have been notified.

The incident began when two inmates attacked a third inmate while on the recreational yard. During the course of the incident one of the inmates began to choke another inmate, to the point of unconsciousness. In an effort to prevent significant bodily injury and possible death, an officer fired one (1) .223 round from their state issued Mini 14 Rifle. The round struck an inmate in the upper body.

The shot inmate was immediately taken to the High Desert State Prison Correctional Treatment Center’s Treatment and Triage Area, where life saving efforts continued until 11:50 am, when the inmate was pronounced deceased by the on call physician.

Involved inmate #1, the shooting victim, has been housed at HDSP since May 1, 2007; received from San Francisco County and was serving a life term without the possibility of parole for first degree murder, attempted murder, rape by force, and first degree burglary with use of a weapon.

Involved inmate #2, 25, has been housed at HDSP since April 8, 2008; received from Contra Costa County and is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for first-degree murder.

Involved inmate #3, 35, has been housed at HDSP since March 8, 2005; received from Kings County and is serving a 52-year to life sentence for attempted murder, shooting into an inhabited dwelling.

The names of the involved inmates and victim are being withheld pending investigation into this incident and notification to the next of kin. The prison will remain on suspended program pending the conclusion of the on-site investigation by The Office of the Inspector General. There were no staff injuries as a result of the incident.

High Desert State Prison, located in Lassen County, opened in 1995 and houses approximately 5,000 minimum-, medium-, and maximum-custody inmates. The institution employs more than 1,400 people and provides academic, trade and vocational training to incarcerated inmates.

Contact: Lt. Charlie Hahn
(530) 251-5501 x5501