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PRESS RELEASE: Units on Lockdown at Washington State Penitentiary after a Second Multi-Offender Fight

Released August 31, 2015

Contact Shari Hall, (509) 524-7716/(509) 520-1585

Public Information Officer

WALLA WALLA – All four West Complex living units at the Washington State Penitentiary were placed on lockdown after warning shots were fired during a fight involving multiple offenders.

At approximately 8:30 pm on Monday, August 31, approximately 60 offenders began fighting in the West Complex outdoor recreation yards. Staff issued multiple warnings to stop. When the offenders refused to comply, multiple warning shots were fired and pepper spray (Oleoresin Capsicum - OC) was used, as per policy.

Multiple offenders received injuries during the fight, requiring medical attention. One staff member received a non-serious injury in the response. At this time, the cause of the incident is unknown and under investigation.

This is the second multi-offender fight since August 24th.

All four West Complex units will remain on lockdown while staff continue their investigation. Visiting scheduled for these units has been cancelled. All other units will be operating normally. It is recommend to monitor the facility’s specific webpage for any potential changes to the facility’s operating status over the coming days.

The Washington State Penitentiary houses over 2550 offenders in minimum, medium, close and maximum custody.