Home / National News / How the Delaware Prison Hostage Situation Unfolded

 

(NEW YORK) —  A hostage situation that began inside a Delaware prison Wednesday morning lasted nearly 24 hours and ended early Thursday morning with the death of a Department of Correction employee.

Delaware Gov. John Carney vowed this morning to “hold accountable anyone who was responsible” and “make whatever changes are necessary to ensure nothing like it ever happens again.”

Here’s how the hostage situation unfolded at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna, according to the DOC:

Feb. 1 at about 10:32 a.m.: Four DOC employees were taken hostage in C Building.

Feb. 1 at about 2:25 p.m.: The first hostage was freed. The employee was examined at a hospital and then released.

Feb. 1 at about 8 p.m.: The second DOC employee was freed. The employee was examined at a hospital and then released.

Feb. 1 at about at 10:52 p.m.: Three maintenance workers, who had been hiding in the basement during the ordeal, made their way to the roof and were rescued, said Perry Phelps of the DOC. Phelps said the inmates were unaware of the maintenance workers.

Feb. 2 at about 5:06 a.m.: Delaware State Police breached C Building. One of the two remaining hostages, a female DOC employee, was safely rescued. She was not injured, said Department of Safety and Homeland Security Secretary Robert Coop, who added that some inmates allegedly “shielded” her and “ensured her safety.”

Feb. 2 at 5:29 a.m.: The last hostage, Sgt. Steven Floyd, a 16-year veteran of the DOC, was pronounced dead after being found unresponsive.

After the final two hostages were found, C Building was secured.

Officials said the decision was made to go in this morning because through negotiations authorities believed inmates were using stalling tactics to buy time to build barricades. Authorities used a backhoe to break down the door and enter the building, officials said.

Coop said at a news conference this morning that authorities are investigating how the hostage situation occurred, adding that the motive is not clear.

Coop said some inmates had sharp instruments but did not offer more details on the weapons.

He added that about 120 inmates are considered suspects in the investigation at this time.

Delaware Gov. John Carney said flags in Delaware will be flown at half-staff and vowed to leave “no stone unturned” in the investigation.

“We will bring every resource that we have to sort out this issue and this problem to make sure correctional facilities are secure and that the employees who work there are safe,” he said.

In a statement earlier this morning, Carney said that he is “praying hard for the fallen officer’s family.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

 

Recent posts in National News