YREKA, Calif. — An inmate of the Siskiyou County Jail is dead after a shooting at Fairchild Medical Center in Yreka on Friday afternoon, Siskiyou County Sheriff Jeremiah LaRue confirmed to NewsWatch 12.
LaRue said that just before noon on Friday, a female corrections deputy from the Sheriff's Office was bringing a male inmate to the hospital to be cleared by a doctor. Though the medical clearance apparently went ahead without issue, the trouble began when they were leaving.
While the deputy was escorting the inmate back out for transport to the jail, LaRue said that the inmate "attacked" the deputy and a struggle ensued.
During a scuffle that lasted for several minutes, LaRue said that the inmate injured and "almost disarmed" the deputy. While the inmate tried to wrench away the deputy's gun and escape, the deputy fired a single shot, hitting the inmate.
The deputy was treated for minor injuries and LaRue indicated that she was shaken but otherwise okay. The inmate died while receiving medical treatment.
"We've had officer-involved shootings over the years, and we've also had inmates that have tried to escape or we've had confrontations with them," LaRue said. "But never have we had them combined — where we've had somebody in custody that's been transported to the hospital and a deputy get into an officer-involved shooting in that capacity."
According to hospital administrators, the shooting happened just after 1 p.m. outside of the Emergency Department. In response, Fairchild went on lockdown — closing exterior doors and moving patients and visitors to safe locations.
"The hospital remained on lockdown until the all clear was received from the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Department," Fairchild said in a statement.
No employees or visitors to the hospital were injured in the incident, Fairchild said. The hospital says it will provide counseling and support to staff where necessary.
EDIT: An earlier version of this story said that the inmate was shot while trying to run away. Sheriff LaRue clarified that the inmate was trying to escape, but was also still trying to disarm the deputy when the shot was fired.