7 inmates killed as prisoners fight over money, territory
COLUMBIA, S.C. » Inmates armed with homemade knives fought one another for about seven hours over territory and money, leaving seven of them dead in the worst U.S. prison riot in a quarter- century, officials said Monday. An inmate who witnessed the violence said bodies were “literally stacked on top of each other.”
At least 17 prisoners were seriously injured at Lee Correctional Institution, South Carolina prisons chief Bryan Stirling said. The first fight started in a dorm about 7:15 p.m. Sunday and appeared to be contained before suddenly starting in two other dorms. Cellphones helped stir up the trouble, and state officials urged the federal government to change a law and allow them to block the signals from prisoners’ phones.
“These folks are fighting over real money and real territory while they’re incarcerated,” Stirling said at a news conference.
No prison guards were hurt.