Seven prison inmates have died following hours of fighting inside a maximum security prison in South Carolina.
He said multiple fights broke out at 7.15pm on Sunday evening.
About 17 inmates required outside medical attention but no officers were wounded.
Lee County Fire/Rescue said ambulances from at least seven jurisdictions lined up outside the prison to tend to the wounded. The local coroner’s office also responded.
The facility in Bishopville houses about 1,500 inmates, some of South Carolina’s most violent and longest-serving offenders.
Two officers were stabbed in a fight in 2015, and one inmate killed another in February.