SOLEDAD (CBS SF) — The death of a 25-year-old state prison inmate over the weekend at Salinas Valley State Prison was being investigated as a homicide and four Bay Area convicts were suspects in the jailhouse slaying, authorities announced Monday.
State prison officials said correctional officers responded to a disturbance inside a Facility B general population housing unit at around 12:34 p.m. on Sunday.
Elazer Black had collapsed to the floor and was bleeding from a chest wound. Four suspects were nearby and one of them, Lamar Shaw, had an inmate-manufactured weapon.
Shaw disregarded orders from correctional officers to drop the weapon and was subdued by correctional officers using chemical agents. to quell the attack and recover Shaw’s weapon. A second inmate-manufactured weapon was also recovered at the scene.
An ambulance was summoned, but Black succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased by emergency medical technicians at 1:09 p.m.
Black was admitted to state prison from San Joaquin County on Nov. 4, 2014, to serve 26 years for voluntary manslaughter.
Prison investigators said four inmates were considered suspects pending investigation. They are Lamar Shaw, Ronald Armstrong, Kevin Moore and Asbury Rankins.
Shaw, 26, was admitted from Alameda County on May 23, 2016, to serve life with the possibility of parole for first-degree murder and a 25-year enhancement for intentional discharge of a firearm causing great bodily injury/death.
Armstrong, 30, was admitted on Aug. 2, 2012, from Contra Costa County to serve life with the possibility of parole for attempted first-degree murder and carjacking.
Moore, 34, was admitted on March 7, 2011, from Solano County to serve life with the possibility of parole for first-degree murder and a 25-year enhancement for intentional discharge of a firearm causing great bodily injury/death.
Rankins, 44, was admitted Oct. 16, 2006, from Alameda County to serve 17 years for voluntary manslaughter and an enhancement for use of a firearm. He received an additional six-year sentence in June 2012 from Kings County for possession of a controlled substance in jail.
Authorities did not say whether the slaying was believed to be gang-related.