Delaware prison officer killed in hostage raid

Richard Bratz, Delaware State Police, issues a statement about the hostage standoff at James T Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna, DelawareRichard Bratz of Delaware state police issued a statement about the hostage standoff at James T Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna

A prison officer has been killed after authorities stormed a men’s jail block a day after inmates took hostages in the US state of Delaware.

Another officer was rescued and taken to hospital as police raided C block at the James T Vaughn Correctional Center in the town of Smyrna.

Prisoners took four officers and fellow inmates hostage on Wednesday.

One of the prisoners told a local newspaper they were protesting against US President Donald Trump.

The rescued employee has been identified as a female member of the Delaware Department of Corrections.

Officials say that she is in hospital, and is “alert and talking”.

“I’m praying hard for the fallen officer’s family”, Governor John Carney said in a statement.

“We will hold accountable anyone who was responsible.

And we will make sure whatever changes are necessary to ensure nothing like it ever happens again.”

Two of the prison employees and 46 inmates were released on Wednesday and overnight by the hostage-takers at the facility, which is the largest prison for men in the north-eastern state.

Earlier in the day, inmates called the News Journal newspaper in Wilmington to explain their actions and make demands.

Emergency vehicles surrounded the prisonEmergency vehicles surrounded the prison

In that call, an inmate said their reasons “for doing what we’re doing” included “Donald Trump. Everything that he did.

“All the things that he’s doing now. We know that the institution is going to change for the worse.”

He also demanded education, a better rehabilitation programme and called for inmates to be granted scrutiny of the prison budget.

Robert Coupe, secretary of the Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security, said authorities were not sure if all the inmates had been held against their will.

The prison houses 2,500 inmates and C Block holds more than 100 of them.

In 2004, a 45-year-old inmate at the prison raped a counsellor and took her hostage for nearly seven hours, before he was shot dead by a sharpshooter.


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