Smyrna Prison Siege confirmed, hostages taken, one later released

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One hostage was released at 2:25 P.M. and transported to a local hospital with non life threatening injuries. That hostage was badly beaten about the face and authorities say he hostage takers used a mop strainer to hit him.

Smyrna: Shortly after 10:30 A.M. James T. Vaughn Correctional Center was put on lock down for a reported emergency situation that occurred in the C Building. As a result of this developing emergency, all Delaware prisons have been put on lockdown which is the Department of Corrections policy when an emergency occurs at any one of the four state facilities.

At an afternoon press conference, authorities say, a corrections officer who was assigned to building C, radioed for assistance for a reported fight between two inmates. As other officers responded to assist, the officer screamed, “Trap”, and told them to get out. It was then that an alarm was set off and the emergency SWAT team was activated.

According to Jayme Gravell, a DOC spokesman, at 10:32 A.M. four members of the Delaware Department of Corrections were taken hostage in Building C at that time.

One hostage was released at 2:25 P.M. and transported to a local hospital with non life threatening injuries. That officer was reportedly beaten badly to the face, and was struck several times with a mop strainer. Live aerial News footage shows that officer being rushed across the compound to a waiting ambulance.

The JTVCC is a Level 5 (prison) facility for men located near Smyrna, Delaware, in southern New Castle County. The James T. Vaughn Correctional Center is the state’s largest adult, male correctional facility. Currently, JTVCC houses approximately 2,500 inmates. JTVCC houses minimum, medium, and maximum security inmates. JTVCC is also the primary facility for housing the Kent County pre-trial (detainee) population. It also houses inmates sentenced to the death penalty. Executions are carried out at the JTVCC.

It used to also house inmates sentenced to the death penalty and held executions there until late last year when the death penalty was ruled unconstitutional. The incident unfolded in building C Tier B which houses 125 inmates.

The last incident to happen at the facility was on July 12, 2004, inmate Scott A. Miller abducted and raped a prison counselor. Miller, a convicted serial rapist, was serving a 699-year prison sentence at the Delaware Correctional Center – now Vaughn Correctional Center – when he passed through two security checkpoints armed with a homemade knife before taking Cassandra Arnold hostage for nearly seven hours, sexually assaulting her during the ordeal. The standoff ended when a corrections officer shot Miller to death.

This is a breaking News Alert! Check back for updates to this story as it will be updates if any new information is released.

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