An inmate at Santa Rita Jail died following what may have been an assault early Monday morning, a sheriff's spokesman said.
Just after midnight, sheriff's deputies assigned to the behavioral health housing unit were performing a safety check when they came upon an inmate standing atop another inmate in a two-person cell, sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly said.
Deputies removed the standing inmate and saw the other inmate had injuries consistent with an assault, Kelly said. Deputies performed life-saving measures and nurses and Alameda County paramedics were called, but the person died at about 12:50 a.m.
Sheriff's officials have begun homicide and suspicious death investigations, Kelly said. The inmate who died had been in custody since September on burglary and robbery offenses. Their identity has not been revealed publicly to date.
The alleged assailant had been in custody since October on a multitude of firearms offenses, including a shooting, according to Kelly.
Santa Rita Jail is undergoing changes because of a lawsuit against Alameda County alleging that incarcerated people with mental health challenges have been treated poorly at the jail.