updated 7/12/2004 7:31:48 PM ET 2004-07-12T23:31:48

A sharpshooter on Monday shot and killed a prisoner who took a female employee hostage inside a Delaware prison, officials said.

The sharpshooter, a member of a Corrections Department emergency response team, fatally shot the inmate after seeing that “the hostage was in imminent danger,” said Beth Welch, a spokeswoman for the department. It was not clear how many shots were fired.

The female employee, whose identity was not released, was taken to a hospital; her condition was not known. She and the sharpshooter, a member of the department’s emergency response team, were being debriefed, officials said.

The fatal shooting of Scott A. Miller, 45, at 4:55 p.m. ended a standoff that lasted more than six hours after Miller took the woman hostage while armed with a homemade knife. She was held in the maximum-security section of the Delaware Correctional Center, the state’s main prison, which holds about 2,400 inmates.

Miller was shot in a counselor’s office, Welch said. The hostage was a counselor, but it was not known whether the office was hers or how Miller first came in contact with her.

Miller was sentenced to 699 years in 1997 for a series of rapes in which nine women were assaulted.

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