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California COs shoot, kill two inmates during prison attack

The two inmates were attempting to kill another prisoner with makeshift weapons


Inmate Anthony Aguilera is hospitalized in serious condition after being attacked by two other inmates.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

By Mathew Miranda
The Sacramento Bee

SUSANVILLE, Calif. — Two correctional officers shot to death two inmates who were trying to kill another prisoner during a stabbing attack at a Northern California prison, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Frank Nanez, 32, and Raul Cuen, 48, suffered the gunshot wounds and were pronounced dead Tuesday morning at High Desert State Prison in Susanville, prison officials said in a news release.

Both men reportedly were attacking Anthony Aguilera, 68, with makeshift weapons.

Prison officials say the attackers ignored verbal orders. The officers then used chemical agents and a warning shot with a Mini-14 rifle before firing on the men. Officials say medics responded quickly, but both men were pronounced dead shortly after.

Aguilera was transported to a local hospital and is hospitalized in serious condition. No prison staff members were injured.

The officers who shot are currently on administrative leave. Their names are being withheld as the department investigates the incident.

Cuen was serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for an attempted first-degree murder conviction in Tulare County.

Nanez was serving a seven years to life sentence without the possibility of parole. He was convicted in Tulare County on the same charge as Cuen, with additional charges for an intentional discharge of a firearm.

Aguilera is serving a life sentence with the possibility of parole for attempted first and second-degree murder convictions. He was also convicted in Santa Clara County for the intentional discharge of a firearm, inflicting great bodily injury and committing a street gang act during a violent felony.

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