News Releases

California Correctional Center Investigating Deadly Force Incident

SUSANVILLE— Officials at California Correctional Center (CCC) in Susanville are investigating the cause of a riot that occurred Sunday, August 16 in which one inmate was fatally shot.
At approximately 5:45 p.m. about 45 inmates started fighting in one of the prison’s Level III, medium-security dining halls.

Correctional peace officers used pepper spray, less-than-lethal force options, and at least four warning shots from the Ruger Mini-14 to quell the disturbance.

One inmate, who was attacking another with a weapon, was struck by a fifth round from the Mini-14. Inmate Jonathan Velarde was pronounced dead at the prison’s medical unit. The inmate’s next-of-kin has been notified.

Velarde, 23, was committed to California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) from Los Angeles County on September 16, 2013 to serve a two-year, eight-month sentence for attempted second-degree robbery and possession of marijuana for sale by a second-striker.

No staff members were injured in the disturbance.

This incident is an on-going investigation by the prison Investigative Service Unit and will be referred to the Lassen County District Attorney’s Office. The Office of the Inspector General was notified.

CDCR also sent a Deadly Force Investigations Team (DFIT) to CCC to investigate the incident. DFIT is a team of trained CDCR investigators that conducts criminal and administrative investigations into every use of deadly force. A deadly force review board will conduct a full and complete review of the incident as well.
Inmate movement and programming is limited to facilitate the investigation.

CCC opened in 1963 and currently houses approximately 4800 conversation camp, minimum-medium custody inmates that work with CAL FIRE in wild land conservation and firefighting projects. CCC offers academic classes, vocational programs, and firefighter training.

AUGUST 18, 2015

(916) 445-4950
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