Former HDSP correctional officer killed in Las Vegas shooting

Lt. Derrick “Bo” Taylor, 56, the camp commander at the Sierra Conservation Center who once worked at High Desert State Prison in Susanville in 1995, was shot and killed at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, Oct. 1, according to a story from Inside CDCR.

According to a story in the Sacramento Bee, Taylor’s girlfriend, Denise Cohen, of Carpinteria, was also killed in the massacre.

Taylor served the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for decades, beginning his career in 1988 at the Richard A. McGee Correctional Training Center in Galt.

During his career he also worked at the California Correctional Institute, Wasco State Prison, High Desert State Prison, Pleasant Valley State Prison, the La Cima Conservation Camp and the Ventura Camp.

Stephen Paddock, 64,of Mesquite Nevada, allegedly shot and killed Taylor and 58 other people and injured more than 500 country music fans attending the festival. Paddock reportedly fatally shot himself later.

“I was so deeply saddened to learn about the passing of Lt. Derrick Taylor,” said CDCR Secretary Scott Kernan. “The horrific circumstances make his death all the more painful. I visited the camp ‘Bo’ Taylor managed, and it was so uplifting to hear the stories from staff that clearly exemplified him as a well-liked and respected man, not only as a leader but as a friend. He devoted nearly 30 years to our department and served us well. I extend my warmest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues,”

“There are no words to express the feeling of loss and sadness regarding Bo’s passing,” wrote Warden Joel Martinez in a memo to staff. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. We truly are a family here at SCC and Bo’s loss will be felt throughout the prison, conservation camps, and department.”

California City Correctional Facility Sgt. Todd Wienke also was shot and wounded while shielding his girlfriend from gunfire.

At first Wienke thought the sounds of gunfire were fireworks, but then he realized someone was shooting at the crowd from an elevated position.

“I threw my girlfriend to the ground and covered her,” he said. “I yelled for others to get down. I was worried about getting trampled by the crowd. I told people around me we were staying here and waiting for the shots to stop. Then I got shot in the back … I felt (the gunshot) but I also felt as if it wasn’t going to kill me. I thought maybe it was a through-and-through, so I checked my girlfriend, but she was OK. I whispered to her I was shot.”

As the incident continued, Wienke was shot a second time, but his wounds were not life threatening and he gave aid to others.