For the second time in two years, inmates on Thursday took control of a portion of a Nebraska maximum security prison and killed two fellow inmates, reports the Omaha World-Herald. Gov. Pete Ricketts insisted the state’s troubled and overcrowded prison system is making progress and that the melee at Tecumseh State Prison was not a “riot.” “The loss of life was tragic, but this is a dangerous place,” Ricketts said.
Corrections Director Scott Frakes said staff responded “flawlessly” when they learned at about 1 p.m. that inmates had started a fire in a small yard attached to a maximum-security housing unit. About 40 inmates refused orders to return to their cells. Fights ensued between inmates, and several fires were set inside the housing unit. Security teams clad in riot gear finally entered the housing units at 4:30 p.m., when the two bodies were discovered. The dead men were not identified, and authorities would not say how they were killed. The state patrol will investigate. Two convicted sex offenders were killed during a deadly riot at the same prison on Mother’s Day 2015.