Seven inmates were killed and 17 more injured in a deadly series of fights at Lee Correctional Institution Sunday night, according to the S.C. Department of Corrections (SCDC).
Riots that killed seven inmates and injured 17 others at Lee Correctional Sunday night all began with territory, contraband and cell phones, according to an initial investigation.
“These folks are fighting over real money and real territory when they are incarcerated,” Stirling said.
According to SCDC Director Bryan Stirling, fights broke out in three dorms, beginning with one at 7:15 p.m., then the other two an hour and 15 minutes later. Response teams, who were home at the time, were activated at 9 p.m., and SLED responded at 9:23 p.m. Teams entered the first dorm at 11:30 p.m., the second dorm at 12:30 am. and the last dorm at 2 a.m.
With 12 officers reportedly on duty at the time of the incident, Stirling says they were waiting to safely enter the prison with a large enough force. Response teams reportedly weren’t met with any resistance upon entering the dorms.
In a meeting next month, the department plans to discuss solutions with the Federal Communications Commission.
“The folks who are incarcerated are gonna continue their criminal ways behind bars, which is not only dangerous inside our institutions, but it’s also dangerous outside our institutions,” Stirling said. “That’s why we need the FCC to allow us to block the signals, or the cell phone company to come to us with a technology to allow us to control these signals.”
At 11:46 p.m. Sunday, SCDC confirmed on twitter that they, along with the State law Enforcement Division (SLED) were responding to an ongoing situation at the facility. At 6:35 a.m. Monday, SCDC said the incident started at 7:15 p.m. on Sunday and it involved multiple inmate-on-inmate altercations in three housing units. Multiple agencies responded to the incident.
The incident at Lee CI resulted in 17 inmates requiring outside medical attention and 7 inmates were killed.
The Lee County Fire Department tweeted out photos of multiple crews at Lee Correctional Institution.
Lee County Fire/Rescue assisted With a Mass Causality Incident at Lee Correctional. Mutual Aid was received from FlorenceCounty EMS, Kershaw County EMS, Darlington County EMS, Lexington County EMS and Hartsville Rescue. Assistance was also received from Med One a private service. pic.twitter.com/P22A1ruzQY