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Eric Rodriguez Shot and Killed By Prison Guards While Defending Himself From Being Stabbed By Another Inmate at California State Prison, Sacramento

Oct 8, 2018

Eric Rodriguez Died In California State Prison, Sacramento After Being Shot By Prison Guard While Defending Himself From A Violent Stabbing By Another Inmate In Folsom

 FOLSOM, CALIFORNIA (October 7, 2018) A 27-year-old inmate identified as Eric Rodriguez was shot and killed by prison guards as he was attempting to defend himself from a stabbing attack by another inmate.

Eric Rodriguez was stabbed by another inmate with some sort of homemade weapon. At some point during the assault he was able to get the weapon from his attacker and began fighting back.

A prison guard trying to break up the fight shot and killed Eric Rodriguez as he was defending himself. The other inmate managed to survive and was taken to the hospital in order to be treated for stab wounds.

An investigation into the attack remains ongoing at this time.

Preventing Violence and Assaults In Jail

Inmate assaults and sexual violence in prisons are an epidemic in the United States. The Human Rights Watch has estimated that 140,000 inmates have been raped in the United States. Thousands more inmates are seriously injured or killed. The Urban Institute has put forth a series of recommendations on steps that can be taken in order to curb the violence. These include:  

  • Improving Supervision: Inconsistent supervision by security officers has been cited as one of the major contributors to inmate violence. The design of a jail can either enhance or detract from security officers’ ability to perform their duties. Tracking systems that monitor officer’s movements during rounds resulted in 175 fewer instances of force at one prison.

  • Installing Surveillance Cameras: Adequate camera use can reduce violence in certain scenarios. But they have an added benefit. Prison officials can use the footage to determine who was responsible if violence does break out.

  • Training Officers In Crisis Intervention: Well trained officers can be a major deterrent for inmate suicide and sexual assault. When officers have better interactions with inmates this can reduce stress that can escalate to violence.

Attacks in prisons can leave inmates with lifelong injuries and often result in death. If an inmate is killed by another inmate or prison official the family of the victim may be able to file a claim for damages. A wrongful death attorney familiar with civil liability for prison assaults can evaluate your case and let you know what your rights are.

Liability In Inmate Attacks

Prison inmates have a constitutional right to be in a reasonably safe environment and to be taken care of. When the state assumes control over a person’s autonomy the state is responsible for that person. When an inmate is attacked by another inmate, the victim may be able to file a civil claim. Generally speaking, prisons can be liable when they have exercised deliberate indifference towards the serious safety or medical needs of the prisoner. Prison staff may be liable for excessive force if they injure or kill an inmate. Courts will consider a number of factors in order to determine if the level of force that a prison guard used was reasonable. Victims of assaults at prisons (or their family)  will be able to file a claim for lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering.

Getting Help From A Wrongful Death Attorney

We at West Coast Trial Lawyers extend our deepest sympathies to the family of Eric Rodriguez as they are grieving. It is our sincere hope that this prison is going to be held accountable for what they’ve done. A man who was simply trying to defend himself from being stabbed was shot dead by prison guards. This is an outrage. We encourage anyone that may have seen what happened to reach out and speak with investigators.

If you or someone that you love has been injured or killed by prison officials you may have legal recourse. Our team of personal injury attorneys can take steps to investigate your case and preserve your rights. We have extensive experience helping victims all across California. We will do everything in our power to get you the justice that you deserve. Whether you just have questions about your rights are need legal counsel for your particular situation we are here for you (888) 888-9285.


  1. Associated Press. California guards kill 2nd inmate in 4 days during assaults. September 1, 2018

  2. AELE Monthly Law Journal. Civil Liability for Prisoner Assault by Inmates. May 2007

  3. Nancy G. La Vigne. Preventing Violence and sexual Assault in Jail: A situational Crime Prevention Approach. December 2011

  4. Human Rights Watch. No Escape: Male Rape in the U.S. VI: Human Rights Watch. April 17, 2007

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