Riot at Ware State Prison in Georgia Leaves 2 Staff Members, 3 Inmates Injured Amid Reports of Violence on Livestreams

Two prison guards and three inmates were injured after a riot broke out at the Ware State Prison in Georgia.

A golf cart was set on fire and several windows were broken during the incident, but no major damage has been reported, the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) said.

The disturbance was caused by inmates at the prison, in Waycross, at around 10:45 p.m. on Saturday night and officers deployed non-lethal ammunition to contain the riot, GDC officials said.

The situation was under control by 1 a.m. and the prison was put on lockdown, a spokesperson for the GDC confirmed to Newsweek.

"The incident is under control and the facility is on lockdown as of 1 a.m. today," the spokesperson said.

Two staff members received minor injuries, while three inmates sustained injuries that are not life-threatening, the GDC said.

The scene outside the Ware State Prison in Waycross, Georgia early Sunday morning. Human and Civil Rights Coalition of Georgia

"The cause of the disturbance is unknown at this time," the GDC said in a news release.

"Two staff members received minor non life-threatening injuries, and three inmates received non life-threatening injuries during the incident.

"A golf cart was set on fire and several windows were broken, but no major damage to the facility has been reported. Officers deployed non-lethal ammunition, and the incident was brought under control."

The GDC added: "At no time was public safety at risk."

Videos purported to have been filmed by inmates inside the prison were livestreamed and circulated on social media.

One clip showed an inmate covered in blood as other inmates are seen helping him clean what appears to be a gunshot wound. Another clip showed two inmates briefly hold hands as others tending to their injuries.

Another video circulating on social media showed inmates freely walking around the prison, while another clip appeared to show fires had been set on the grounds.

The GDC did not respond to requests for comment about the videos.

Corey Jackson, a spokesperson for the Human and Civil Rights Coalition of Georgia, told Newsweek that the prison had been under lockdown after the death of an inmate two weeks ago.

Officials said they are investigating the death of the inmate, Robert Wilson. He is believed to have died after sustaining injuries during an altercation with another inmate on July 17.

Tensions were also inflamed because inmates with COVID-19 have received "little to no medical care," Jackson said.

We have been dealing with issues at Ware State Prison since April 2020.

— Human and Civil Rights Coalition of Georgia (@hcrc_ga) August 2, 2020

"What led to this is Ware has an entire building with sick inmates," he said. "They have COVID-19 with little to no medical care. They had been on lockdown for weeks after a murder there about three weeks ago."

The prison has about 15 officers per shift to handle around 1,500 inmates, Jackson said.

Some inmates at the prison also recently told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that there were tensions in the prison due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Two inmates at the prison have died of COVID-19, while 22 inmates and 32 employees have tested positive, according to the GDC.

Correction 8/2/20, 7:17 a.m. ET: An earlier version of this article, using numbers provided by the Human and Civil Rights Coalition of Georgia, misstated the number of prisoners at Ware State Prison. We regret the error.