Department of Corrections and Community Supervision

New York State
Department of Correctional Services
Glenn S. Goord, Commissioner

Office of Public Information
[518] 457-8182

For immediate release:

Thursday, October 30, 1997

Warning shot fired at Clinton Correctional Facility

CLINTON - A Correction Officer at Clinton Correctional Facility fired a warning shot from his AR-15 rifle Wednesday night to break up a fight among approximately 40 inmates in the facility's exercise yard.

Several of the inmates involved in the 8:15 p.m. fight had weapons and ignored verbal orders from staff to cease fighting and drop their weapons. There were 227 inmates in the yard at the time. To prevent the fight from escalating and jeopardizing the safety of the eight Correction Officers and other inmates in the yard, a Lieutenant ordered a Correction Officer stationed in a yard tower to fire a warning shot into a designated safe area. The inmates then stopped fighting and all inmates complied with verbal orders to lay on the ground.

Two of the inmates involved in the fight sustained puncture wounds and were admitted to Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in Plattsburgh. Their injuries are not life-threatening. Two other inmates sustained minor injuries and were treated at the facility's infirmary.

 There were no injuries to staff or other inmates. The cause of the fight is under investigation.

All inmates in the yard at the time of the fight were pat-frisked by Officers for weapons before being escorted back to their cells. The yard was secured at 10 p.m.

Correction Officers recovered 13 shank-type weapons from the yard on Wednesday night. Officers this morning found two more shank-type weapons buried in the ground near the scene of the fight.

Clinton, a maximum-security prison in Clinton County, opened in 1845. It currently houses 2,933 inmates.