Investigators are trying to determine what caused a fight at the Nevada state prison north of Lovelock which resulted in a lockdown Friday.
Assistant Corrections Director Glen Whorton said 16 inmates were involved in the fight. Warden Craig Farwell said the inmates ignored warnings over loudspeakers and blank warning shots, forcing guards to fire shotguns filled with birdshot at the ground near the battling prisoners.
Four inmates were slightly injured. They were treated at the infirmary and none required transfer to a hospital.
Whorton said investigators are still working to determine what caused the fight in the prison yard.
"We have identified who did it," he said. "But as part of our normal routine when we have these kinds of things, we first control the population and then do searches.
"I talked to the warden just a few minutes ago and the institution is in 'controlled movement' today. That is an intermediary step between locking all inmates in their cells and normal operations.
Whorton said most of the institution was expected to be back to normal by the end of Monday.
Most of those being investigated in connection with the fight were being held in the infirmary area because, Whorton said, there is better security and staffing there.
According to workers, Lovelock no longer has a lockdown unit.
The prison is a medium-security facility just north of Lovelock about 75 miles from Reno on Interstate 80. It houses 1,566 prisoners including, according to Whorton, about half the sex offenders in the Nevada prison system.
Farwell said it was the first incident at the prison "in a long, long time."
Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at email@example.com or 687-8750.