DELANO – A North Kern State Prison Correctional Officer is recovering after being struck by gunfire from outside the prison.
At about 7:30 p.m. on April 20, shots were fired from an unknown location outside the secure perimeter and into the Facility A yard. A bullet struck one Correctional Officer and penetrated his stab-resistant vest. He was taken to an outside hospital where he was treated and released for minor injuries.
“I am extremely grateful that our officer was only slightly injured in this senseless attack and is expected to make a full recovery. I send my thoughts and prayers to him, his family and his co-workers,” California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Secretary Jeff Beard said. “Our officers are dedicated to protecting public safety and it is disturbing they are targeted in this way.”
The California Highway Patrol, the Delano Police Department and the Kern County Sheriff’s Office are on scene and have started investigating this incident and searching for a suspect. All inmates and staff are accounted for.
“I thank the Kern County Sheriff’s Department, the Delano Police Department and the CHP for their help in this investigation and I am hopeful we can capture those responsible for this attack before they can cause more harm,” Secretary Beard said.
Acting Warden Kelly Santoro said the employees were there to support each other.
“Being a return member to the North Kern State Prison family, it was nice to see everyone rally to support one another during this critical situation,” she said. “I express my gratitude to the Kern County Sheriff’s Department, the Delano Police Department, the California Highway Patrol, and all other law enforcement agencies who participated in this ongoing investigation. Thankfully, the wounded officer is OK and is resting at home with his family.”
North Kern State Prison opened in 1993 and houses approximately 4,300 minimum-, medium- and maximum-custody inmates. The prison, located in Kern County, provides educational, medical and mental health services and employs more than 1,300 people.