SMYRNA, Del. (WPVI) --It was emotional Friday night for hundreds gathered in bitter cold to remember Lt. Steven Floyd.
He was found dead after police stormed the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center early Thursday morning in Smyrna, Delaware following a nearly 20 hour long hostage situation.
The 47-year-old grandfather now being hailed as a hero for saving officers' lives.
"He didn't ever hesitate. He always thought of other people before himself," said union president Geoff Klopp.
Floyd's grieving widow and children were among those gathered for the candlelight vigil at Smyrna Municipal Park.
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So, too, was one of the officer hostages injured in the uprising at the prison.
"My name is Officer Wilkerson and I was held hostage with him. I wish to God it was me instead of him," said Wilkerson.
Officials say Floyd warned other prison staffers to flee the building after he had fallen into the inmates' trap
At a vigil in Dover, speakers called on leaders to honor Floyd by increasing funding to prisons.
"Lt. Floyd may have been our first Delaware corrections line-of-duty death, but it's our obligation to make sure he's the last," said Sandra Steele, Floyd's friend.
For those who knew Floyd, his sacrifice isn't surprising.
"When I heard what he had done. Saved lives. That's exactly how he was. Sacrificed his own life for other officers," said Lt. Matthew Hopp, corrections officer instructor.
Flags across the state are at half-staff to honor Floyd. Those we spoke with say they're not surprised by the large show of support. They say Delaware may be a small state, but has a big heart.