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Inmate fatally shot by CDCR officer after repeatedly stabbing another prisoner

COs fired a warning shot when they saw inmate Albaro Amaral stabbing another inmate; Amaral continued his attack, prompting another CO to fire multiple rounds, striking Amaral

Albaro Amaral

CDCR officials said an “inmate-manufactured weapon” was found at the scene.


By Ishani Desai
The Sacramento Bee

SUSANVILLE, Calif. — State prison officials are investigating after a correctional officer shot and killed an inmate who’s accused of repeatedly stabbing another man Thursday at the High Desert State Prison in Northern California.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation prison guards saw Albaro Amaral, 33, stabbing another inmate around 1:40 p.m. and officers ordered him to stop. Amaral didn’t listen, so a warning shot was fired from a lightweight, semi-automatic rifle called a Mini-14, CDCR officials said in a news release.

CDCR officials said Amaral continued his attack at the Susanville prison facility, prompting an officer to fire multiple rounds from the rifle, which struck Amaral. It was unclear why Amaral began attacking the inmate.

Amaral was taken to an onsite medical facility and was pronounced deceased at 2:09 p.m. The inmate enduring Amaral’s stabbing was taken to a hospital where the CDCR said he’s in “fair condition.”

No one else was injured. CDCR officials said an “inmate-manufactured weapon” was found at the scene.

The CDCR didn’t disclose the name of the officer who killed Amaral “due to the ongoing investigation,” the news release said. The officer is on administrative leave.

Amaral was sentenced to life with parole in Santa Cruz County for first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, attempted second-degree, carjacking, possession or ownership of a firearm by a felon or addict and having ammunition as a felon, CDCR said. His charges were enhanced by intentionally discharging a firearm causing great bodily injury or death and using a firearm.

Amaral murdered Kevin Medina-Lopez, 27, near Highway 17 in the Santa Cruz Mountains, shooting him in the back of his head and chest, according to the Santa Cruz Sentinel. Witnesses testified the Amaral and Medina-Lopez were members of the same San Jose gang, the newspaper reported.

The High Desert State Prison investigative services unit, the CDCR deadly force investigation team and the Lassen County District Attorney’s Office are investigating the incident.

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