Pelican Bay State Prison officials Friday opened a homicide investigation into the death of an inmate who was attacked by two other prisoners, all of whom had been housed at the Northern California penitentiary for more than a decade for crimes committed in Los Angeles County.

A staff member observed two inmates assaulting a third inmate about 6:50 p.m. Thursday and ordered them to stop, but the men continued their assault on Fabian Rodriguez, according to a statement released by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. After further verbal commands from officers, the inmates stopped the attack and no use of force was used, the CDCR reported.

Rodriguez, 35, was transported to a local hospital, where he died at 7:48 p.m.

Investigators identified the suspects as Fernando Hernandez, 31, and Juan Ayabar, 33. Both inmates have been segregated from the rest of the prisoners in Facility A, where inmate movement has been limited to facilitate the investigation being conducted by the prison’s Investigative Services Unit with assistance from the Del Norte County District Attorney’s Office, according to the CDCR statement.

An inmate-manufactured weapon was recovered at the scene.

Rodriguez was brought to Pelican Bay on June 9, 2006, from Los Angeles County, where he was sentenced to 12 years for second-degree robbery with street gang and firearm-use enhancements.

Hernandez has been housed at the Crescent City prison since April 15, 2008. He was convicted in Los Angeles County of first-degree attempted murder and is serving a sentence of life with the possibility of parole.

Ayabar, who has been at Pelican Bay since May 20, 2008, was convicted in Los Angeles County of first-degree murder and is serving a sentence of life without the possibility of parole.

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