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Hostage situation in progress at Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna

Delaware Public Media

A hostage situation is unfolding at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna.

The Department of Corrections confirmed shortly before 2 p.m. that a hostage situation is in progress and that Department of Correction Response Teams and the Delaware State Police are on scene responding.


DOC spokeswoman Jayme Gravell said earlier that it is an isolated incident that began at approximately 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, but in response, all Delaware prisons are on lockdown.


Rep. William Carson (D-Smyrna), a member of the House Corrections Committee, said he had been briefed at least twice on the situation.


“There’s an apparent hostage situation at James T. Vaughn Center and inmates have taken over a building,” Carson said.


The last hostage situation at a Delaware prison 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.


James T. Vaughn Correctional Center is the state's largest prison, housing about 2,500 male inmates.