Guard found dead af­ter po­lice storm prison


Us­ing a back­hoe to smash through a bar­ri­cade of foot­lock­ers, au­thor­i­ties stormed Delaware’s largest prison early Thurs­day and ended a nearly 24hour hostage stand­off in­volv­ing in­mates armed with sharp­ened ob­jects. One hostage — a guard — was found dead.

A se­cond hostage, a fe­male coun­sel­lor, was safely res­cued min­utes af­ter the tac­ti­cal teams forced their way into the all­male, 2,500-prisoner James T. Vaughn Cor­rec­tional Cen­ter. Some in­mates had shielded her from harm, of­fi­cials said.

Gov. John Car­ney called the up­ris­ing a “tor­tur­ous” or­deal. In a state­ment, he said au­thor­i­ties will hold ac­count­able those re­spon­si­ble and “make what­ever changes are nec­es­sary to en­sure noth­ing like it ever hap­pens again.”

Au­thor­i­ties did not im­me­di­ately ex­plain how 47-year-old Sgt. Steven Floyd died, but the head of the guards union said the 16-year vet­eran of the prison was forced into a closet and killed by his cap­tors at some point.

Dur­ing the takeover, Floyd yelled to other guards who were com­ing to help him that the in­mates had set a trap, sav­ing some of his fel­low of­fi­cers’ lives, said Ge­of­frey Klopp, union pres­i­dent.

The up­ris­ing be­gan Wed­nes­day when in­mates with home­made weapons over­pow­ered staff mem­bers, seized Build­ing C and took three guards and a coun­sel­lor hostage.

One in­mate told a lo­cal news­pa­per via phone that they were de­mand­ing bet­ter ed­u­ca­tion and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­grams and were also up­set over Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and “all the things that he’s do­ing now.”

“We know that the in­sti­tu­tion is go­ing to change for the worse,” he told The News Jour­nal in Wilm­ing­ton.

Dur­ing ne­go­ti­a­tions con­ducted for a while via an of­fi­cer’s walkie-talkie, the in­mates re­leased two hostages and got au­thor­i­ties to turn the wa­ter back on, say­ing they needed it for drink­ing and wash­ing. In­stead, they filled up me­tal foot­lock­ers and built bar­ri­cades.

Of­fi­cers fi­nally went in with heavy equip­ment around 5 a.m. and found Floyd un­re­spon­sive, au­thor­i­ties said. He was pro­nounced dead about a half-hour later.

The guards who were taken hostage were beaten se­verely by their cap­tors and suf­fered bro­ken bones, cuts and eye in­juries, Klopp said. Au­thor­i­ties said their in­juries were not lifethreat­en­ing.

It wasn’t im­me­di­ately clear how many in­mates took part in the up­ris­ing. About 120 were in the build­ing when it be­gan, but dozens were let out as the stand­off dragged on.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.