Two inmates shot during fight at Northern California prison

Two men were shot dead by correctional officers during a fight with another inmate at a state penitentiary in Northern California on Tuesday, prison officials said.

The men attacked 68-year-old Anthony Aguilera with prison-made guns, the California Department of Justice said in a statement Wednesday. Frank Nanez, 32, and Raul Cuen, 48, attacked Aguilera around 11 a.m. in a prison yard at High Desert State Prison near Susanville.

Prison staff ordered the men to stop and then fired a warning shot from a Mini-14 rifle, but said the men ignored them. As the attack continued, correctional officers shot Nanez and Cuen. Prison staff also used chemical means to stop the attack and weapons manufactured in the prison were seized.

Medical staff quickly provided the men with assistance and performed CPR on Cuen and Nanez, but the men died at the scene. According to officials, officers pronounced Cuen dead at 11:37 a.m. and Nanez at 11:44 a.m.

Aguilera was taken to hospital and is in serious condition.

No other inmates or prison staff were injured.

The correctional officers who shot the men are on administrative leave under prison policy and their names have not been released pending further investigation. Prison officials investigating the shooting have restricted access to the yard where the shooting took place.

The Office of the Inspector General has been notified and the Lassen County Medical Examiner will determine the cause of the men’s deaths. The prison investigative unit and state investigators will review the fatal use of force and report their findings to the Lassen County Attorney’s Office.

Cuen was jailed from Tulare County on January 27, 1994. He had been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for first-degree murder, with an amendment for use of a deadly weapon.

Nanez was also jailed from Tulare County on February 2, 2012. He had been sentenced to seven years of life imprisonment without possibility of parole for first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder, with multiple counts of intentional firing of a firearm.

Aguilera was admitted to prison in March 2007 from Santa Clara County. He was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole on charges of attempted first and second degree murder, firing a firearm, aggravated assault and committing a street gang operation in the commission of a violent crime. Two inmates shot during fight at Northern California prison

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