CASTRIES –– An inmate was shot and two correctional officers sustained minor injuries during a flare-up of violence in the maximum security section of the Bordelais Correctional Facility (BCF) on Wednesday, June 28, according to BCF Public Relations Officer Kerwin Albert.
The inmate sustained a gunshot wound to the shoulder and is in stable condition after being treated by medical personnel at the facility, Albert said.
The incident started around 9:45 a.m. in the maximum security unit when two inmates armed makeshift knives called shanks confronted another inmate, just as the unit was opened for recreation.
The inmate who was confronted was quickly secured in his cell, however the situation escalated when the other two inmates refused to hand over their weapons.
After negotiations failed, Albert said officers of the Special Operations Unit were called to take charge of the situation.
However, the special unit came under attack when they attempted to disarm the two inmates. As a result the officers used pepper spray. This too failed to stop the agitated inmates.
Albert said the shield was used but this also failed.
“As a result they had to use lethal force,” the PRO stated.
A member of the unit discharged one round which hit the inmate who was armed with the 16-inch shank. This action quelled the disturbance and the inmates were subdued and disarmed.
A subsequent search of the unit resulted in the recovery of four weapons.
Two of the officers sustained minor injuries in the attack – one from the shank and the other from a broom stick. Albert said the officers sustained those injuries during the time they released the pepper spray.
The PRO said the maximum security unit, which houses “high-risk, high-profile” inmates is the scene of regular fights, sometimes weekly, but this is the first time in recent memory that lethal force had to be used by the special unit.
Albert also expressed “surprise” that the situation escalated to such violence against the prison officers,and the authorities there are wondering if the incident was a “set up” to attack the staff of the prison.
The two armed inmates in yesterday’s attack are on remind for undisclosed crimes. They are expected to be charged as the Major Crimes Unit of the police force carry out its investigation, Albert said.