SMYRNA, Delaware- Governor John Carney, D, in a statement Thursday, said that a corrections officer was found dead after a prison standoff. The officer has been identified as Sgt. Steven Floyd.
“I’m praying hard for the fallen officer’s family,” Carney said. “This serves as a tragic reminder that members of law enforcement risk their lives every day on behalf of the people of Delaware. We will stand by the fallen officer’s family and fellow law enforcement officers during what is an extremely difficult time.”
Carney said officials were now focusing on trying to learn “what happened and how this happened,” at the James T. Vauugn Correctional Center and vowed to “make whatever changes are necessary to ensure nothing like it ever happens again.”
The hostage-takers had said their rebellion was a direct response to President Donald Trump.
“Everything that he did. All the things that he’s doing now,” they said during the second of two manifesto-like phone calls to a local newspaper. “We know that the institution is going to change for the worse,” Delaware Online reported.
Delaware Online reports Robert M. Coupe, secretary of the state Department of Safety and Homeland Security, said at a press conference late Thursday morning that they could not say the exact manner of Floyd’s death. The 47-year-old man’s body has been turned over to the state Division of Forensic Science for an autopsy.
Coupe detailed how inmates stalled tactical teams for hours while they used water, turned back on as part of their demands, to fill metal foot lockers available for purchase inside the prison to build a wall to block entrances. This blockade stopped police teams from entering the prison sooner and required calls for a vehicle to knock down the wall from other agencies.
A Department of Correction backhoe, driven by a DOC employee, was ultimately used to knock down the walls into the prison and gain access to hostages and inmates in Building C, which was under inmate control from 10:30 a.m. Wednesday until daybreak Thursday morning, he said. A female counselor who had also been taken hostage was found alert and safe inside, Coupe said, noting that some inmates shielded her from injury during the hostage situation.
I’m praying hard for the fallen officer’s family. This serves as a tragic reminder that members of law enforcement risk their lives (1/6)
— Governor John Carney (@JohnCarneyDE) February 2, 2017