A correctional officer at Kern Valley State Prison who had been attacked by several inmates in April has died, according to a report by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
“Our hearts are heavy from the passing of Officer Armando Gallegos,” CDR Secretary Ralph Diaz said in a statement. “Correctional officers like Armando put their lives on the line every day to keep our prisons and communities safe.”
Gallegos died unexpectedly Friday in a Hanford hospital, the report said.
He had been attacked by several inmates on April 21, according to two reports from correctional officer groups.
During the attack, he was struck and kicked several times in the face, neck and head, the California Correctional Peace Officers Association said in a release.
The Peace Officers Association blamed the April attack for Gallegos’ demise, although a coroner’s report has yet to reveal the official cause of death.
“It is with great sadness that we share the passing of Officer Gallegos, a dedicated officer with nearly 13 years in the department,” CCPOA President Chuck Alexander said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to his family, friends and coworkers.”
The Peace Officers Association report said Gallegos had been in a doctor’s care since the attack, attempting to recover from his injuries.
The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation had recommended attempted homicide charges for seven of the inmates involved in the attack. In a statement, the group said information on possible new charges was pending the results of the coroner’s autopsy.