- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 26, 2017

BEAR, Del. (AP) - The Latest on the shooting of a Delaware state trooper (all times local):

10:45 p.m.

Authorities say a local fire company has opened its doors to serve as a temporary shelter for residents prevented from returning to their homes while police continue to try to negotiate with the suspect in the fatal shooting of a Delaware state trooper.

State police said the Odessa Fire Company will temporarily house the evacuated residents of Brick Mill Farms development while police agencies continue to negotiate with the armed and barricaded suspect.

Delaware State Police say 32-year-old Cpl. Stephen J. Ballard was shot Wednesday afternoon after encountering two people in a convenience store parking lot in Bear.

One person was taken into custody at the scene after the shooting, but another fled on foot. State police say that man is holed up in his house about 15 miles (24 kilometers) south, in Middletown.

___

9:45 p.m.

Police have released the name of the Delaware state trooper fatally shot in a convenience store parking lot.

Delaware State Police spokesman Sgt. Richard Bratz says in a news release Wednesday night that Cpl. Stephen J. Ballard died earlier in the day.

Bratz says the 32-year-old had been on the force for more than 8 years.

Police say Ballard was shot Wednesday afternoon after encountering two people in a convenience store parking lot in Bear. One person was taken into custody at the scene after the shooting, but another fled on foot. State police say that man is holed up in his house about 15 miles (24 kilometers) south, in Middletown.

___

8:45 p.m.

Delaware state police say they used an explosive device to blow open the front door of a home where the suspect in the fatal shooting of a state trooper is holed up.

Master Cpl. Gary Fournier, a police spokesman, says the device was used to blow the front door off its hinges. It was detonated around 8:20 p.m. Wednesday. Police said in a statement that officers have yet to go inside the home.

A man suspected of killing a state trooper has been inside the house in Middletown for several hours. The trooper was slain shortly after noon in the parking lot of a convenience store. Police say the trooper was investigating a car with two suspicious people inside when one man got out and opened fire.

___

6:15 p.m.

A long line of police vehicles has streamed out a Delaware hospital, escorting the body of a slain state trooper to the state medical examiner’s office.

The trooper was shot Wednesday afternoon after encountering two people in a convenience store parking lot in Bear. One person was taken into custody at the scene after the shooting, but another fled on foot. State police say that man is holed up in his house about 15 miles south, in Middletown.

Shortly after the trooper’s death was announced at Christiana Hospital, a lengthy cortege of state police vehicles left the hospital for a 9-mile trip to the Division of Forensic Science in Wilmington. All had red and blue lights flashing.

Live video from the start of the route shows one man on the sidewalk saluting the caravan, while several people put their hands on their hearts.

___

5:45 p.m.

Delaware Gov. John Carney is offering his condolences to the relatives and colleagues of a slain state trooper.

The trooper was fatally shot Wednesday in a convenience store parking lot in Bear. One person was taken into custody at the scene, while another is holed up in a house about 15 miles south in Middletown.

The governor issued a statement after the trooper’s death was announced at a hospital in Wilmington. He says his “heart is with the officer’s family and the officers who have served beside him.”

Carney says “officers go to work every day knowing they put their lives on the line to protect ours.” He says Delawareans are “incredibly indebted to their bravery and service.”

___

5 p.m.

A Delaware State Police trooper shot in a convenience store parking lot has died.

State police said Wednesday at a news conference at a hospital that the trooper received treatment at the scene and was taken to the hospital, but passed away there.

He was shot earlier Wednesday at a Wawa store in Bear.

Police say a suspect is holed up in a house about 15 miles south of the shooting scene and has fired on officers there. They are trying to negotiate with him.

___

4 p.m.

Delaware state police say a man believed to have shot a state trooper outside a convenience store is now barricaded inside his own house.

Master Cpl. Gary Fournier, a state police spokesman, says investigators tracked the gunman to his home in Middletown, about 15 miles south of where the trooper was shot earlier Wednesday afternoon.

Fournier says the man has fired multiple shots at officers from inside the house. No other officers have been hurt. Police have yet to provide an update on the condition of the officer who was shot earlier.

Fournier says hostage negotiators are on the scene and have established contact with the gunman in an effort to persuade him to surrender peacefully.

People who live nearby are being told to stay in their homes with the doors locked.

___

3:20 p.m.

Delaware state police say they have converged on a gunman who “continues to fire rounds at police officers” after a state trooper was shot outside a convenience store.

Police said in a statement Wednesday afternoon that the gunman fired shots in a residential community in Middletown and officers from numerous agencies are on the scene. Police say the gunman “has refused orders to surrender” and is firing at the officers.

People who live in the subdivision of two-story homes are being urged to stay inside and lock their doors. Schools in the area have also been locked down.

The shooting of the trooper happened earlier in the day about 15 miles north of where police confronted the gunman.

___

This story has been corrected; the events happened Wednesday, not Thursday.

___

2:50 p.m.

A school district south of where a Delaware state trooper was shot is on lockdown because of what school officials “an armed individual in the vicinity.”

The Appoquinimink School District in southern New Castle County announced shortly after 2:15 p.m. that all schools and offices are on lockdown. Students and staff are being kept inside school buildings and parents are being told not to go to school to pick up their kids. Students will be dismissed after police give the all-clear. The district includes 17 schools, many of them in the Middletown area.

Media outlets report a heavy police presence in Middletown in the aftermath of the shooting, which occurred earlier Thursday afternoon. Police have confirmed that a trooper was shot and taken to a hospital for treatment. Witnesses described a gunman fleeing the scene.

___

2:05 p.m.

A witness says he saw a gunman fire shots at a Delaware state trooper who was already lying on the ground.

Clarence Travers tells The News Journal of Wilmington (https://tinyurl.com/lkrns62) that he heard gunfire while sitting at a red light and saw a police officer fall to the ground.

After the initial gunfire, Travers says he saw a man get out of a car and shoot the officer on the ground multiple times before getting away.

State police have confirmed that an on-duty officer was shot Wednesday afternoon outside a convenience store in the town of Bear, but they have not corroborated Travers’ version of events.

Another witness, Monica Moore, says she heard shots as she was driving past the store and saw the trooper face down on the ground.

___

1:55 p.m.

Delaware State Police say a trooper has been taken to a hospital after being shot at a convenience store.

Master Cpl. Gary Fournier, a police spokesman, confirmed that a uniformed trooper was shot Wednesday afternoon at a convenience store on Pulaski Highway in Bear.

The trooper, who was on duty at the time, was taken to Christiana Hospital.

More details were not immediately available.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide