A state prison in Nebraska, rocked by riots and the deaths of two inmates, attempts to return to normal.
“This has been a very difficult 24 hours,” State Corrections Scott Frakes told reporters during a news conference late Monday morning, only hours after staff at the Tecumseh prison regained control of the institution.
The disturbance began Sunday afternoon at around 2:30pm. A mob of about 40 inmates had gathered and a prison guard went to break it up. An inmate assaulted the guard, prompting another guard to respond. An inmate attacked the second guard.
As tensions grew and the safety of the guards became a worry, a tower guard fired a warning shot. Then, the tower guard shot and wounded an inmate in the leg. Another guard wounded a second inmates. Two inmates suffered injuries at the hands of fellow inmates.
Staff found two inmates dead.
Both 46-year-old Donald Peacock and 46-year-old Shon Collins were serving time for sexually assaulting children. Collins began serving his sentence in 2010. Peacock began serving his in March of last year.
The cause of both deaths has yet to be determined, but both appeared to have been killed by fellow inmates.
At one point in the fracas, inmates took control of two housing units.
Several staff members had to be rescued after becoming trapped in the prison. One female staffer barricaded herself in an office in the gym until rescued.
Inmates set fires, broke windows, damaged offices, and destroyed cameras.
Frakes said staff regained control of Tecumseh at approximately one o’clock Monday morning.
“It is under the control of staff,” Frakes said when asked how he would characterize Tecumseh today. “It is tense, which is to be expected. It is still in the, ‘What do we need to take care of next?’ phase.”
Frakes said that all inmates have been accounted for and the public is safe. Tecumseh remains in lock down until further notice as the investigation by the Nebraska State Patrol continues.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:55]
AUDIO: State Corrections Director Scott Frakes issues statement. [3 min.]