SMYRNA, Del. (CBS) — Sgt. Steven Floyd’s co-workers gathered Thursday afternoon to remember a man they say died a hero in the Delaware prison standoff.
CBS 3’s Cleve Bryan reports Floyd is the first correctional officer to die in the line of duty. Floyd, a 16-year veteran of the Department of Corrections, died during a nearly 18-hour standoff at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna.
Friends say Floyd often worked several overtime shifts a week so his children could attend college.
“Sgt. Steven Floyd Sr. was a father, grandfather, loving husband,” said Geoff Klopp, president of the Correctional Officers Association of Delaware.
Floyd was a mentor at work and in the moments just before his death a hero, potentially saving his co-workers’ lives.
“Sgt. Floyd was actually in a closet. The inmates had been putting him into the closet and the lieutenants had come to enter into the building and Sgt. Floyd yelled to them to tell them it was a trap, to get out of the building,” explained Klopp.
Floyd lived in Dover. His neighbor, Lynda Gregory, says he was a good man and recently the two enjoyed comparing Christmas lights.
“I was looking all morning just to see if his truck was there, and I didn’t see his truck there,” said Gregory. “I don’t know.”
While Floyd’s family grieves privately, his brothers and sisters in uniform say they will keep his memory alive as they support each other and the two other officers taken hostage who survived.
“They’re beat up severely, but they will be OK eventually,” said Klopp.
Klopp also said he believes Floyd’s death was preventable.
A candlelight vigil will be held Friday at the Smyrna Municipal Park beginning at 6 p.m.