One inmate was killed and a correction officer injured after he was held hostage at the Oklahoma County Detention Center in Oklahoma City on Saturday.
The officer was rescued and treated at a hospital, the Oklahoma City Police Department said. The nature of the officer’s injuries was unknown, and it was not immediately clear how long the officer had been held hostage.
The inmate was shot dead by Oklahoma City police officers.
Shortly after 4 p.m. local time when the inmates were being given medication, the officer was overpowered and taken hostage by at least one inmate, Greg Williams, the detention center’s administrator, said at a news conference on Saturday evening.
The inmate then took the officer’s radio and keys and released other inmates, he said. No other staff member was injured and Mr. Williams was unsure how many inmates had been released or were involved in the stalemate.
There were 37 inmates in the section of the prison where the stalemate was taking place, Mr Williams said, adding that there were inmates in the area who are more difficult to manage.
Officers from the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office arrived around 4:30 p.m., followed by Oklahoma City police officers.
Sheriff Tommie Johnson III. Said authorities tried to de-escalate the situation but the inmate held an unspecified object to the officer’s neck and ordered officers to use lethal force.
It was unclear how long the inmate went without medical attention because other inmates on the same floor refused to be detained, officials said.
“I’m just glad the detective wasn’t injured and that we were able to get him out of there and protect him,” said Oklahoma City Police Chief Wade Gourley.
Live streaming videos from the center were posted on Twitter while the officer was detained.
One person who was recording at the center was heard complaining of their conditions, including a lack of showers. “The water is not working,” said the unknown person. “The toilet is secured. That’s what we are dealing with. “
Mr Williams said he did not know if the hostage situation was due to the conditions stated in the videos.
“We don’t know,” he said. “I didn’t get a chance to speak to any of the inmates who were involved.”
He added, “I hear that, but it has not yet been established.”
There have been reports of numerous human and civil rights violations in the prison, as reported by Nondoc.com, a non-profit journalist website.
A 2008 report by the US Department of Justice found there were issues with overcrowding, staffing, and inmate supervision. The inspectors also found that there were 2,400 inmates in the prison at the time of their visit, even though the center was designed for half that number.
The U.S. Department of Justice has had oversight of the prison since 2009 and continues to do so as the report found numerous violations, Nondoc.com reported.
The 268,000 square foot detention center has approximately 450 employees and houses up to 2,700 inmates daily, according to the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office.
In 2017, inmates initially held four staff hostage at Delaware’s largest prison, leaving one prison worker injured. In 1999, a prison guard and an inmate were killed in a hostage situation in Louisiana State Prison.