Incident at Mass. prison under control after inmates refused to return to their cells: Officials

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SHIRLEY, Mass —  The situation at the Massachusetts Correctional facility where former NFL player Aaron Hernandez is incarcerated was brought under control around 7 p.m., three hours after it started, according to officials.

Corrections officers the at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley had been evacuated after inmates refused to return to their cells in a housing unit said officials.

“At approximately  7 p.m., Special Operations personnel regained control of the P-1 Housing Unit.  There are no staff injuries and we are currently assessing the inmates and the extent of damage to the housing unit,” said Christopher M. Fallon, Assistant Deputy Commissioner of Communications.

Officials said a fight broke out between two high ranking inmates in a security threat group. A security threat group is a term used by corrections officials to refer to a gang.  Other inmates were ordered into their cells in the housing unit while the fight was being investigated. At that time another fight broke out. Despite being ordered back into their cells, officials said a number of inmates  refused. Officials evacuated the staff for their safety.

The inmates damaged the housing unit according to officials, “Sprinkler heads were broken off, camera systems were destroyed, the computer system in the unit was destroyed along with extensive damage to much of the remaining parts of the unit.  Inmates utilized fire extinguishers and other makeshift weapons in order to destroy furnishings, windows, etc.”

The Special Operations Unit released an unnamed chemical into the unit and were able to secure the unit. There were no serious injuries to staff or inmates. Inmates involved will face disciplinary action according to officials.

Hernandez and Jared Remy, who was convicted in the death of his girlfriend, are inmates in the prison, but officials would not confirm if they were in the unit in question. Remy is the son of Jerry Remy the sports announcer.