Only TN April 11 2017 Three Tennessee correctional officers were assaulted Sunday in what state officials are calling a "disturbance" involving 16 inmates at a prison in southwest Tennessee, according to a statement from the Department of Correction.
Department spokeswomen said inmates attacked three officers at Turney Center Industrial Complex, a facility located in Only, Tennessee, about 60 miles southwest of Nashville.
"One of those officers was held hostage for a time. Our special operations unit was deployed, and we have re-gained control of the situation," said spokeswoman Alison Randgaard in a statement posted to Twitter at 7:30 p.m.
In the same tweet, the department said the disturbance at the prison had ended. The department has not said if any inmates were injured. All inmates involved in the incident will be moved to a maximum security facility, according to a department statement.
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In a different statement, Randgaard said the department isn't confirming which hospital the officers were taken to, but could confirm all three were taken via helicopter, known as Life Flight.
Matt Batcheldor, a spokesman Vanderbilt University Medical Center, confirmed they are treating three people who came to the Nashville-based hospital from the prison.
"We have three patients that we have received from the prison. Two are in critical condition, one is in stable condition," Batcheldor said.
He didn't immediately know when they arrived at the hospital, and could provide no additional information about their condition. Batcheldor did not said he could not confirm if the three people being treated at VUMC are the officers or if any inmates are also being treated.
The "incident" took place at roughly 4 pm. inside the prison.
"The incident involving 15-20 inmates took place in one housing unit. Three officers were assaulted. Appropriate security procedures have been taken and our emergency operations team has responded. As we receive more information, we will share it on our website and on our Twitter and Facebook pages," Randgaard said.
The housing unit where the disturbance occurred has been locked down, a process where inmates are required to remain in their cells, according to the department's Facebook page. The department said in a separate statement on Twitter that the unit is "under control." No one has confirmed the number of the unit where the disturbance occurred.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with these officers. Any threat to the security of our institution or threat to our staff will be investigated and charged appropriately," said department Commissioner Tony Parker in a statement released shortly after 8:15 p.m.
The department's "Strike Force Team," somewhat similar to SWAT teams used by police, responded to the situation. It's unclear exactly what the team did to regain control of the situation.
"The entire facility is on lockdown and the housing unit the disturbance occurred in is under control. TDOC leadership is onsite and the investigation is ongoing. All inmates involved will be charged appropriately upon the conclusion of the investigation," reads a statement from the department's Facebook page, posted at 7:15 p.m.
Additional details about the disturbance, the extent of the injuries sustained by the officers and whether any inmates were injured was not immediately available.
Turney Center had 1,630 inmates as of March 31, according to the department. It's a large prison, but not one of the state's largest. The majority of the inmates are classified as medium security.