BUCKEYE, Ariz. (AP) – A corrections officer was released Sunday from the prison guard tower where she had been held hostage by a pair of inmates for two weeks, a Corrections Department spokeswoman said.

The inmates surrendered, corrections spokeswoman Cam Hunter said.

Hunter said the guard, whose name was not released, was receiving medical attention.

The surrender at the medium- to high-security Arizona State Prison Complex-Lewis ended one of the nation’s longest prison hostage situations in decades. Negotiators had regular contact with inmates throughout the standoff, and at times had seen the guard or talked to her by telephone.

The standoff at the 4,400-inmate prison west of Phoenix began Jan. 18 when an inmate attacked two guards and another worker in a kitchen area. That prisoner and another inmate then got into the observation tower, where they took the two guards hostage. One of the correctional officers – a man – was released Jan. 24.

The inmates were identified by prison officials as Ricky Wassenaar, 40, and Steven Coy, 39. Wassenaar is serving 28 years for armed robbery and assault.

Steven Coy, who is serving a life sentence, has spent the better part of two decades in Arizona prisons. His offenses include theft, burglary, criminal damage and drug possession. He was sentenced to life after a 1993 crime spree in Tucson that included armed robbery, aggravated assault and rape.

Both Coy and Wassenaar have committed numerous infractions while in prison, officials said.

AP-ES-02-01-04 2110EST

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