A prison riot that claimed the life of a guard continued into the
late night hours Sunday at Adams County Correctional Facility in
Natchez, Mississippi, with no clear word from authorities about what
The deceased 23-year-old guard died of injuries to the head, said Adams County Coroner James Lee.
The riot began about 2:40 p.m., the facility's operator said in a statement.
"The disturbance is contained within the secure perimeter of the facility, with no threat to public safety," the statement said.
Adams County Sheriff Chuck Mayfield said rumors of escaped convicts were unfounded.
"I just want people to
understand, and know, that no one has gotten out and no one will,"
Mayfield said in a statement late Sunday. "We have got all our deputies
out here and ready. The county can sleep well tonight because we've got
He added, "We are
currently taking inmates into custody, but it's a lengthy process
because there are so many of them. As it stands right now, there is
still one area of the prison that we still have to take back from
prisoners, but I don't foresee that taking long."
Local and state law
enforcement officials as well as the Federal Bureau of Prisons were
helping the facility try to quell the violence.
Five employees and one
inmate were taken to a hospital for treatment of unspecified injuries,
while other staff members were being treated at the prison.
Johar Lashin told CNN
that he'd heard a lot of noise and commotion when he talked with his
brother Jawad, an inmate serving time for aiding and abetting illegal
immigrants, around 6 p.m. His brother said he was not participating in
the riot, despite pressure from other inmates to do so.
The cause of the incident is under investigation.
Rusty Boyd, a spokesman
for Mississippi Highway Patrol, said Sunday evening that 45 to 55 units
from that state agency were helping corrections officers deal with the
The Natchez facility is a
2,567-bed prison that houses adult men who are in the United States
illegally and charged with crimes. It is owned by the Tennessee-based
Corrections Corporation of America.
Warden Vance Laughlin
described the facility as quiet and with "few problems" in a March 2010
article in The Natchez Democrat, a few months after it opened to
incarcerate illegal immigrants detained for mostly low-security crimes.
At that point, it housed
more than 2,000 inmates -- more than two-thirds of whom were of Mexican
descent, although scores of nationalities were then represented.