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4 guards remain hostage at Vaughn Correctional Center

Delaware Public Media



Hostage negotiations continue at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna, with all prisons statewide still on lockdown.


At about 10:30 Wednesday morning, inmates in building C at James T. Vaughn took five Department of Correction employees hostage.


The building houses more than 100 inmates.


A few hours later, inmates let one hostage leave.


“At approximately 2:40 p.m. this afternoon, that one correctional employee was released and transported by ambulance to a local area hospital with non life threatening injuries,” said Delaware State Police spokesman Richard Bratz.


That hostage was released in exchange for access to a phone, according to State. Rep. James Johnson, who chairs the House Corrections Committee.


Bratz says he doesn’t know if any of the other employees still being held are injured.


The FBI is assisting local officials in the standoff.


The Department of Corrections confirmed the hostage situation was in progress shortly before 2 p.m.


The last hostage situation at the Vaughn Correctional Center was in 2004 when an inmate raped a counselor and took her hostage for nearly seven hours at the Smyrna facility, according to an Associated Press report at the time.


A department sharpshooter later shot and killed 45-year-old Scott Miller, according to the report, ending that standoff.





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