Bomb threat at Northern California prison followed alleged employee shooting


A High Desert State Prison employee is on leave amid allegations he shot another prison employee Sunday in Susanville.

On Monday, someone made a bomb threat to the same prison, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokeswoman Dana Simas confirmed in the email.

“It has not yet been determined if the two incidents are related,” Simas said. Simas confirmed Tuesday that there was an “incident involving two off-duty, non-peace officer” employees at the Lassen County institution. The victim survived the incident.

Simas declined to identify the employees involved or provide more details on the incident, deferring to the Lassen County Sheriff’s Department. The Sheriff’s Department deferred to the Susanville Police Department, which did not return multiple calls on Tuesday.

Kenneth Hunter, 63, a prison store supervisor, is being held on attempted homicide charges, according to the Lassen County jail. Hunter’s bail was set at $500,000, according to the jail.

Simas said the corrections department coordinated with the Reno Police Department to respond to the bomb threat.

They found “no evidence of bombs and don’t believe the institution is in any danger,” Simas said in the email.

A prison employee who requested anonymity for fear of employment retaliation said the bomb threat was made early Monday morning and the prison was on lockdown until around 4 p.m.

The employee said there was a police presence Sunday at Hunter’s home.