2 California Inmates Killed a Minute Apart in Related Attacks, Marking 3 Killings at State Prisons in 1 Week

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Two inmates were killed during attacks a minute apart Wednesday in a Northern California prison, state corrections officials said.

The two afternoon attacks at California State Prison, Solano in Vacaville were believed to be related, according to a statement from the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Two inmates stabbed Mizrain Nava Cano in the neck and back in a yard at the Sacramento-area prison shortly before 3:30 p.m.

Less than a minute later, two other inmates in the same yard stabbed Jorge Cruz-Banuelos in the neck, chest and back, officials said.

Guards used blast grenades and pepper spray to stop the attacks but both men were pronounced dead about 20 minutes later, officials said.

Three weapons were found, authorities said.

Four suspects were placed in a segregation unit while the killings are investigated.

Cano, 26, went to prison in 2017. He was serving a 13-year sentence from Sonoma County for voluntary manslaughter and an enhancement for committing a street gang act in the commission of a violent felony, according to the corrections department.

Cruz-Banuelos, 30, had been behind bars since 2013. He was admitted from Sonoma County and was serving nearly 17 1/2 years for assault with a deadly weapon, inflicting great bodily injury, criminal gang activity, and a previous felony conviction, authorities said.

There have now been three inmates killed at state prisons this week.

On Monday, two inmates attacked Richard Prieto in an exercise yard at High Desert State Prison in Susanville.

Prieto, 44, was serving a 22-year sentence from San Joaquin County for attempted second-degree murder.

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