South Carolina Prison Fight

AP Photo/Sean Rayford, File

7 Inmates Dead, 1 Hurt In South Carolina Prison Fighting

April 16, 2018 - 8:16 am
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBS 880/AP) -- Seven inmates have been killed and at least 17 others seriously injured after hours of fighting between prisoners inside a maximum security prison in South Carolina.

Prisons spokesman Jeff Taillon announced the grim outcome after State Law Enforcement Division agents helped secure Lee Correctional Institution around 3 a.m. Monday.

Lee County Coroner Larry Logan told The Associated Press it appears most of the seven were killed by stabbing or slashing. He says others may have been beaten, but autopsies will be needed to confirm what caused their deaths. Logan said he just finished identifying all the dead Monday and is working to notify relatives. Names have not been released.

Taillon said no officers were wounded after multiple inmate fights broke out at 7:15 p.m. Sunday. He said 17 of the injured required medical attention outside the prison.

The South Carolina Department of Corrections tweeted that it involved multiple inmate-on-inmate altercations in three housing units.

Lee County Fire/Rescue said ambulances from multiple jurisdictions lined up outside to tend to the wounded. The local coroner's office also responded.

The maximum-security facility in Bishopville houses about 1,500 inmates, some of South Carolina's most violent and longest-serving offenders. Two officers were stabbed there in a 2015 fight. One inmate killed another in February.

These deaths at Lee are the most in any South Carolina prison in recent years. Four inmates were killed by a pair of prisoners in the state's Kirkland Correctional Institution last year.

(Copyright 2018 WCBS 880. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)