1 guard dead after hourslong prison takeover in Delaware

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The James T. Vaughn Corrections Center is shown during a lockdown where hostages were taken in an incident at the men's prison in Smyrna, Delaware. Photo by Doug Curran/Reuters

The James T. Vaughn Corrections Center is shown during a lockdown where hostages were taken in an incident at the men’s prison in Smyrna, Delaware. Photo by Doug Curran/Reuters

A guard at a Delaware prison was killed sometime during a nearly 24-hour standoff that began Wednesday between prisoners and police, authorities said today.

On Wednesday, an officer at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center radioed for help around 10:30 a.m. from a building at the prison that housed more than 100 inmates, Delaware Police spokesman Richard Bratz said. Police responded to the initial report and four prison employees, including a female counselor, were taken hostage, as Reuters reported.

Delaware Homeland Security Secretary Robert Coupe said inmates used “sharp instruments” to gain control of the all-male prison.

Inmates at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center called The News Journal, a local newspaper, twice to explain their motivation and issue demands.

They said they had experienced abuse from corrections officers. One inmate also named President Donald Trump as a reason for his actions.

“Everything that he did. All the things that he’s doing now. We know that the institution is going to change for the worse,” the male prisoner reportedly said.

The inmates demanded better rehabilitation and education programs in exchange for their cooperation. Authorities, however, said they have yet to determine a motive for the takeover.

Sgt. Richard Bratz, PIO Delaware State Police, issues a statement about the prison guards who were taken hostage by prison inmates, at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna, Delaware. Photo by Doug Curran/Reuters

Sgt. Richard Bratz, PIO Delaware State Police, issues a statement about the prison guards who were taken hostage by prison inmates, at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna, Delaware. Photo by Doug Curran/Reuters

During negotiations, two male corrections officers were released Wednesday. The counselor was rescued shortly after police gained entry into the building on Thursday. Authorities said the guards taken hostage suffered injuries, adding they weren’t life-threatening.

The Delaware State Police entered the facility using a backhoe Thursday at 5:05 a.m. and found Sgt. Steven Floyd unresponsive. Nearly a half hour later, he was pronounced dead. Floyd worked for the prisons agency for 16 years, AP reported.

No further details were given on Floyd’s death.

Gov. John Carney offered his condolences to Floyd’s family, vowing that state officials “will hold accountable anyone who was responsible” for the prison takeover.

“And we will make whatever changes are necessary to ensure nothing like it ever happens again,” the governor said in a statement.

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