WATCH: Housing unit at Lynchburg Detention Center ‘severely damaged’ after hours-long inmate barricade, officials say

Virginia

UPDATE 10:30 a.m. (8/11/21): Lynchburg authorities held a news conference after a barricade situation involving inmates at the Lynchburg Adult Detention Center that started Tuesday night was resolved Wednesday morning without incident. 

According to the Lynchburg Police Department, at approximately 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 10, inmates in one of the maximum security housing units the Lynchburg Adult Detention Center barricaded themselves in that housing unit, taking it over. 

However, correctional officers with the Blue Ridge Regional Jail Authority were able to exit the area safely and notify their supervisors.

“During this incident, the inmates involved in that unit severely damaged property in that unit and basically destroyed a lot of equipment we had in that individual unit,” said Blue Ridge Regional Jail Authority Administrator Josh Salmon.

Once jail officials were notified of this situation, they informed the Lynchburg Police Department, as well as other resources around the area.

After approximately 14 hours, Lynchburg police officers — along with federal and state law enforcement partners — worked with the inmates to resolve the barricade situation, according to department officials.

“The safety of all those at the Lynchburg Adult Detention Center was our highest priority throughout this incident and we are grateful for a peaceful resolution to this potentially dangerous situation,” Police Chief Ryan Zuidema said. “I am incredibly proud of the excellent work by all law enforcement personnel involved in this incident. They exercised incredible restraint to de-escalate a very tense situation.”

According to Zuidema, the incident was concluded safely and peacefully at approximately 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 11. He says all of the inmates were relocated without any use of force and without any serious injuries to inmates or corrections officers.

According to Salmon, authorities are still working to determine the identities of the inmates who damaged the property and the reasoning behind the barricade. Due to the ongoing investigation into the incident, the Lynchburg Detention Center will be closed to the public until further notice.

Salmon says there has not been an increase or decrease in complaints about the conditions at the Lynchburg Detention Center due to limited staffing, but they will look into that to see if there were any signs they could have used to quell the situation before it happened.

Even though Salmon says there were no corrections officers inside that specific housing unit when Tuesday’s barricade first began, the detention center reportedly had adequate staffing at the time of the incident.

“Our staffing levels are much like police departments, sheriff’s departments, other correctional agencies in the country,” said Salmon. “We’re understaffed. I couldn’t give you a percentage of how understaffed we are right now, but we’re doing the best we can with what we have.”

The Lynchburg Police Department extended their gratitude to the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office, Lynchburg Sheriff’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Virginia Department of Corrections, Virginia State Police, and U.S. Marshals Service for their assistance during this barricade situation. 

These law enforcement agencies received support from the Lynchburg City Manager’s Office, Lynchburg Fire Department, Lynchburg Department of Emergency Services, the Department of Communications and Public Engagement, and the Department of Public Works. 

Watch the full news conference below:


UPDATE 8:17 a.m. (8/11/21): More than 12 hours after inmates barricaded themselves inside a housing unit at the Lynchburg Detention Center, authorities say the situation was resolved without incident Wednesday morning.

Lynchburg City Manager Wynter Benda, Police Chief Ryan Zuidema, and Blue Ridge Regional Jail Administrator Josh Salmon are set to share additional information during a news conference in City Council Chamber at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

You can watch this news conference live here at WFXRtv.com, on the WFXR News Facebook page, or on the WFXR News app.


UPDATE 6:28 a.m. (8/11/21): A number of intersection closures are in place Wednesday morning as authorities remain at the Lynchburg Detention Center, where inmates have barricaded themselves inside a housing unit after forcing out correctional officers Tuesday evening.

According to the Lynchburg Police Department, all inmates and correctional officers are safe at this time, with no reports of injuries or hostages.

However, the following intersections are currently closed due to the situation:

  • 8th and Clay Street
  • 8th and Madison Street
  • 11th and Clay Street
  • 11th and Madison Street
  • 10th and Clay Street

UPDATE 5:19 a.m. (8/11/21): Inmates at the Lynchburg Adult Detention Center are still barricaded inside a housing unit Wednesday morning after they forced correctional officers out of the housing area Tuesday evening.

Even though police say a crisis negotiations team and a tactical team are currently inside the jail to speak with the inmates, there is no word on how many inmates are barricaded inside.

Authorities say, as far as they are aware, there are no injuries, hostages, or demands. In addition, there is reportedly no threat to the public at this time.

WFXR News currently has a crew at the scene working to gather more information.


UPDATE 11:10 p.m.: Police in Lynchburg have confirmed to WFXR News that earlier Tuesday evening, inmates at the Lynchburg Adult Detention Center barricaded themselves inside of a housing unit, after forcing correctional officers out of that housing area.

The incident began shortly after 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 10. A crisis negotiations team, as well as a tactical team, are both currently inside of the jail talking with the barricaded inmates.

At this time, authorities cannot say how many inmates are currently inside the housing unit.

Carrie Dungan with Lynchburg Police spoke with WFXR News’ Amanda Lee about the situation. See that interview below.

WFXR News is continuing to follow this breaking story.


LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) – Lynchburg Police confirm to WFXR News that they are on the scene at the Lynchburg Detention Center of the Blue Ridge Regional Jail for an incident.

WFXR News has a crew on the way to the scene and will bring you more when we have additional information.

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