SANTA FE, N.M. — Two correctional officers were recovering Thursday after being stabbed by two high-risk inmates at a New Mexico prison, authorities said.
One officer was treated and released from a hospital while the other was undergoing treatment for non-life threatening injuries.
Both officers were assigned a unit of the Penitentiary of New Mexico near Santa Fe that houses high-risk inmates, New Mexico Corrections Department officials said.
The inmates used homemade knives against the officers.
New Mexico State Police, which is investigating the incident, said an inmate later identified as Lorenzo Danny Martinez approached a corrections officer and distracted him.
A second inmate, later identified as Joe Angel Martinez, approached the corrections officer from behind, grabbed him around the neck and stabbed him in the back and head multiple times, police said.
A second officer attempted to intervene and suffered a laceration to his face.
A third officer fired several non-lethal rounds from a shotgun, which ended the attack.
Police said Joe Martinez is serving time for battery upon a peace officer, armed robbery with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and tampering with evidence.
Lorenzo Martinez is serving time for aggravated fleeing law enforcement and two counts of battery upon a peace officer.
Police said the incident occurred at the level 6 C-pod which houses the Predatory Management Program, consisting of violent inmates who have attacked corrections officers in the past.
Corrections officials said the two inmates involved have been moved to a separate unit and the facility was locked down.
“We have zero tolerance for such behavior by our inmates and we will pursue appropriate administrative and criminal actions against these two inmates,” said David Jablonski, cabinet secretary for the New Mexico Corrections Department.
Gov. Susana Martinez said the state will pursue the harshest punishments possible.
Monica Youngblood, a Republican state lawmaker from Albuquerque, said Thursday’s attack is why she has sponsored a bill that is a narrow reinstatement of the death penalty for those who murder children, police and correctional officers.
“This narrow reinstatement would serve as a deterrent especially in situations like this where high-risk inmates have nothing to lose,” Youngblood said.