General Crime

California Prison Guards Shoot Inmate Breaking Up Fight

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Guards at Salinas Valley State Prison in Soledad shot an inmate in the hand Friday morning as they were breaking up a fight that knocked another inmate unconscious, a California Department of Corrections lieutenant said.

The fight at the prison started at about 10 a.m. Two inmates, identified as Salvador Pineda, 28, of Riverside County, and Jose Espinoza, 41, of Kern County, attacked a third inmate and knocked him unconscious, corrections Lt. Darren Chamberlain said. Guards ordered them to stop and when they kept attacking the unconscious man, one guard fired a warning shot but they kept going.

Guards fired a second shot that struck Espinoza in the hand. Espinoza was taken to a hospital by helicopter for treatment of his injuries, which are not considered life-threatening. The inmate who had been knocked unconscious woke up and his injuries do not appear to be serious, Chamberlain said.

Espinoza is serving an 18-years-to-life sentence for first-degree murder while Pineda is serving 25-years-to-life for second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder, Chamberlain said.

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