Shooting, bomb threat related to Lassen prison under investigation

Lassen County law enforcement officials say it’s unknown at this time if a shooting incident in Uptown Susanville involving two prison employees and a subsequent bomb threat at High Desert State Prison are related.

Ryan Cochran, Susanville chief of police, and Dean Growdon, Lassen County Sheriff, both said their agencies are assisting HDSP investigators determine what happened, but their agencies are not responsible for the investigations.

A public information officer from HDSP did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this story.

According to a statement from the SPD, about 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19, the SPD received reports of gunshots being fired in Uptown Susanville. Officers responded, and they located a single gunshot victim. The victim was found to be in stable condition and was treated by fire and medical personnel before being transported by ambulance to Banner Lassen Medical Center, where the victim was treated for multiple gunshot wounds. During the course of the investigation, it was determined the shooting was domestic violence-related.

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Hours later, a warrant was executed, which led to the arrest of Susanville resident Kenneth Hunter, 63. Hunter was booked into the Lassen County Jail for attempted murder and several other felony charges. Hunter’s bail was set at $500,000.

The SPD asks that anyone who has additional information regarding this incident contact the SPD at 257-5603.

According to a statement from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, “CDCR can confirm that an incident on Sept. 19 involving two off-duty, non-peace officer High Desert State Prison staff members is currently being investigated by the Lassen County Sheriff’s Department. Please direct any requests regarding this incident to the investigating agency.

“At this time, one staff member has been placed on Administrative Time Off, and we will continue to work with the LCSO in their investigation.

“On Sept. 20, a bomb threat was made to HDSP and the institution immediately responded, in coordination with Reno Police Department, to ensure the safety of all those who live and work at HDSP. Law enforcement found no evidence of bombs and don’t believe the institution is in any danger.  It has not yet been determined if the two incidents are related.”

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