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 / Updated  / Source: NBC News

A manhunt has been launched after a California correctional officer was injured by one of multiple rounds fired from outside a prison late Monday.

“Shots were fired from an unknown location outside the secure perimeter” of North Kern State Prison near Bakersfield at around 7:30 p.m. local time (10:30 p.m. ET), California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokeswoman Deborah Hoffman said in a statement.

“A bullet struck one correctional officer and penetrated his stab-resistant vest,” Hoffman said. “He was taken to an outside hospital. It appears his injuries are minor.”

She added: "Being shot in the dark as you are working to protect public safety is the stuff of nightmares."

Officers from the California Highway Patrol, the Delano Police Department and the Kern County Sheriff's Office are investigating the case.

All of the site's 4,300 inmates have been accounted for. The prison employs more than 1,300 people.

- Henry Austin and Todd Miyazawa