SACRAMENTO – California State Prison, Sacramento’s (SAC) Investigative Services Unit is investigating the death of an incarcerated person who was fatally shot by a correctional officer as he was choking another incarcerated person.
On May 1 at approximately 6:04 p.m., correctional staff observed Mario Rushing and another incarcerated individual in an altercation. Rushing was observed choking the other incarcerated person. Staff quickly responded, first issuing verbal orders to stop and get down, which were ignored. Officers then used chemical agents and less-lethal measures, which had no effect. When the other man appeared to lose consciousness and go limp, an officer fired his Mini-14 rifle.
Staff quickly initiated life-saving measures and summoned emergency services. Rushing, 46, was transported to an outside hospital and at 7:07 p.m. was pronounced deceased. The other incarcerated person was treated at an on-site medical facility. No staff or other incarcerated people were injured. An inmate-manufactured weapon was recovered at the scene.
The officer who deployed the Mini-14 round is currently on administrative leave consistent with CDCR policy. The officer’s name is being withheld due to the ongoing investigation.
Rushing was sentenced on Sept. 19, 1996 in San Diego County and received by CDCR on Oct. 1, 1996. He was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole for first-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter with an enhancement of terminate pregnancy and arson of structure or forest fire. While he was incarcerated he was sentenced in Amador County on March 25, 2022 to two years for possession of a manufactured deadly weapon by a prisoner.
Officials have limited movement on the yard where the incident happened to facilitate the investigation. The Office of the Inspector General and the Office of Internal Affairs were notified and peer support services are available. The Sacramento County Coroner will determine Rushing’s official cause of death.
Activated in 1986, CSP-SAC is a high-security prison in Folsom that houses 1,940 incarcerated people and employs about 1,700 staff. The institution houses those serving long-term sentences, those requiring specialized mental health programming, and incarcerated people with high-risk medical concerns. The institution also provides work, career technical education, academic, self-help, art, religious and other rehabilitative programs.