WASHINGTON — The federal prison system has been placed on a nationwide lockdown after two inmates were killed and two others were injured Monday during a gang altercation at a federal penitentiary in Texas.
The incident happened around 11:30 a.m. Monday at USP Beaumont, a federal prison in Beaumont, Texas. Two people familiar with the matter said the altercation involved members of the violent MS-13 street gang. Two people spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak on an ongoing investigation.
The attack is the latest example of serious violence within the beleaguered federal Bureau of Prisons.
The agency has struggled through a multitude of crises in recent years, including widespread staffing shortages, serious employee misconduct, a series of escapes and deaths.
The lockdown involved more than 120 federal prisons across the United States and was prompted after fears that violence could spread to other facilities, the Associated Press reported. During lockdowns, inmates are forced to stay in their cells most of the day and visitations are canceled. Visitations had been canceled at nearly every facility, already, amid the pandemic and spikes in virus cases.
KFDM in Beumont, Texas named two inmates and said they were taken to the hospital for life-threatening injuries before they later died. Two other inmates were also reportedly transported to the hospital for treatment.