South Georgia prison on lockdown after riot

Officials say a riot broke out Saturday night at Ware State Prison near Waycross, where two guards were stabbed and officers deployed “non-lethal ammunition” on inmates.

Officials said the situation started around 10:40 p.m. and was under control with the facility on lockdown at 1 a.m.

“Two staff members received minor, non life-threatening injuries,” the Georgia Department of Corrections said in a statement Sunday morning. “A golf cart was set on fire and several windows were broken, but no major damage to the facility has been reported. Officers deployed non-lethal ammunition, and the incident was brought under control.”

“Three inmates received non life-threatening injuries during the incident,” according to the statement.

Late Saturday night, multiple Facebook Live videos went out from men purporting to be inmates at the prison. One video, in which the men filmed say they are at Ware State Prison, showed one inmate covered in blood. Two inmates helped him clean what appeared to be a wound and carried him out of his cell. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution couldn’t immediately confirm the authenticity of the videos.

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Another video showed inmates walking around freely with no guards in sight. The man filming said he wanted his family to know he loved them, just in case anything happened to him.

Two weeks ago, a Ware State inmate was killed in what authorities said was an altercation with another inmate.

Multiple inmates at the prison have recently told the AJC that tensions were running high due to COVID-19. Two people incarcerated at the prison have died of the disease, while 22 inmates and 32 employees have tested positive, Georgia Department of Corrections records show.