​Nevada prison guards ‘force’ inmates into gladiator-style brawl, then shoot 1 dead, wound another

Reuters/Paul Hackett
Guards at a maximum-security prison allegedly staged a gladiator-like fight between two handcuffed inmates before a corrections officer shot and killed one of the participants and wounded the other.

Carlos Manuel Perez Jr, 28, and Andrew Jay Arevalo, 24, were instigated by prison guards to fight each other inside High Desert State Prison on November 12 of last year, according to a lawsuit.

Attorney Cal Potter, representing the Perez family, said prison guards had allowed the two men, who had been assigned to administrative segregation (ad seg) for their own safety, to meet in a hallway of the facility, thereby making a fight inevitable.

"Officers know they will see a fight if they release ad seg inmates that are supposed to be in walk-alone status," he told the Associated Press.

"Defendants ... refused to intervene. On the contrary (they) created a gladiator-like scenario and allowed the inmates to fight."

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After the fight ensued, a trainee corrections officer fired four blasts from his shotgun, which killed Perez and left Arevalo wounded, according to the lawsuit, which alleges excessive force; wrongful death; indifference to Perez's emergency medical needs; poor training and supervision; and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The Clark County coroner ruled Perez’s death a homicide, after determining he died of gunshot wounds to the head, neck, chest and arms.

The lawsuit seeks in excess of $30,000 for damages.

Perez, a two-time felon, was serving 18 months to four years for attacking a man with a two-by-four piece of lumber in Las Vegas in 2012, while Arevalo had been sentenced to six years on burglary charges.

Arevalo survived his gun wounds, despite being struck in the face. His lawyer plans to file a lawsuit as well.

Attorney General Adam Laxalt's spokeswoman, Patty Cafferata, said the attorney general was examining the report, which was received on March 25, AP reported.

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval spoke out on the incident, saying local, county and state officials had carried out an investigation into the shooting, and that the attorney general would advise appropriate action.

Three accused corrections officers are on paid leave pending a decision by the attorney general.