Three officers stabbed during riot at Tennessee prison


Three corrections officers were stabbed during a riot at the Turney Center Industrial Complex in Hickman County. Photo: CNN Newsource

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ONLY, Tenn. — Three corrections officers were stabbed during a riot at the Turney Center Industrial Complex in Hickman County on Sunday.

According to the Tennessee Department of Correction, the officers were stabbed multiple times during the disturbance, which was started by 16 inmates around 4 p.m.

Two of the officers, Lester Ball and Paul Nielsen, were removed from the unit immediately.

Officer Jesse Shockley was held hostage for about three hours until the TDOC Special Operations Unit was able to regain control around 7 p.m.

“The appropriate measures were taken to regain control of the situation,” said TDOC spokeswoman Nesa Taylor in a statement on Sunday.

All three officers were airlifted to a local hospital. Ball was treated for his injuries and has since been released. Shockley and Nielsen remain hospitalized in stable condition.

TDOC said no one else was injured during the altercation.

“Preliminary information indicates this was an unprovoked assault on our staff by several inmates who may have ties to a security threat group,” said the department in a news release.

TDOC has asked the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to conduct its own independent investigation into the riot.

TDOC Commissioner Tony Parker released this statement Monday:

We continue to ask for prayers for our officers. I had an opportunity to personally visit two of the officers this morning. I have asked our Office of Investigation and Compliance and the TBI to leave no stone unturned and to fully investigate this incident and prosecute those involved to the fullest extent of the law. As I’ve said before, any threat to our facilities or staff will not be tolerated.

There are approximately 1,500 inmates at Turney Center Industrial Complex.

The facility remains on lockdown as the investigation into the riot continues. All visitations have been canceled for Monday.

Officials said the inmates who caused the incident have been moved to Morgan County Correctional Complex, which is a maximum security facility.

TN Rep. Mike Stewart will be holding a news conference at noon Monday to discuss the need for corrections oversight.

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