By OPEC Staff

Four North Kern State Prison (NKSP) correctional officers are recovering after they were injured Monday while defending an inmate from a coordinated attack by at least 40 other inmates.

NKSP staff were escorting 28-year-old inmate Sergio Velez when the group of inmates began attacking him.

During the melee, an officer fired a warning shot and the inmates stopped their attack. Velez was treated for minor injuries.

All of the officers were exposed to pepper spray, and two were treated for injuries sustained when punched or kicked. One officer was sent to an area hospital to be treated for an injury he to his knee.

The attack on the inmate is thought to be a gang-related incident and is under investigation.