>> 7 inmates are dead and 17 others injured in the deadliest US prison riot in 25 years. The violence erupted Sunday night after prisoners, armed with homemade knives, rioted for eight hours at a maximum security prison in South Carolina over gang related disputes.>> Well we believe from the initial investigation is that this was all about territory.
This is about contraband, this is about cell phones, and you've heard us talk about these over and over again. These folks are fighting over real money and real territory while they're incarcerated.>> The fighting began in one housing unit at Lee Correctional Institution around 7:15pm, and then spread to two other units.
The prison wasn't secured until approximately 3am Monday, a delay that authorities tried to explain.>> But before we can go into a dorm, just so you know, there's about 250, 260 inmates in each dorm. We're not gonna just send one or two officers in there. We're gonna gather a force that is safe for all our officers, and we're gonna go in and we're gonna take that dorm back with force, and if there's any resistance we'll be able to put that resistance down immediately.
>> According to the county coroner, all seven deaths were the result of stabbing injuries.