Superintendent Colonel Nathaniel McQueen Jr.
Presented by Public, Information Officer, Master Corporal Jeffrey R. Hale
Bear- The Delaware State Homicide Unit Detectives continue to investigate the shooting death of Cpl/1 Stephen Ballard which occurred at a Bear area Wawa yesterday afternoon.
On Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at approximately 12:06 p.m. Cpl. Stephen Ballard, an 8 and a half-year veteran of the Delaware State Police, conducted a stop on a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot of the Wawa located at 1605 Pulaski Hwy, Bear. Cpl. Ballard, was in uniform and in a fully marked police vehicle, when he contacted the male driver of a red Dodge Charger. The Dodge Charger was also occupied by a second male subject in the front passenger seat. Cpl. Ballard made contact with the driver and the passenger who both provided identification. Cpl. Ballard then walked to the passenger side of the vehicle to address the occupant. The passenger, who was later identified as Burgon Sealy Jr, 26, of Middletown, advised that he had arrived at the Wawa in a gray Honda Accord which was also parked in the lot. Cpl. Ballard then asked him to step out of the Dodge Charger. As he exited the vehicle, a struggle ensued during which time the suspect began firing at Cpl. Ballard with a handgun he had produced from his waistband. Cpl. Ballard attempted to run for cover behind a parked vehicle, however, Sealy pursued him. The suspect fired the handgun, striking him in the upper body. Cpl. Ballard immediately went to the ground. The suspect then fired multiple rounds at close range, again striking him in the upper body. The suspect then ran to the gray Honda and fled from the parking lot. The driver of the Dodge remained in the Wawa parking lot, and was taken into custody by responding troopers. The investigation has determined that he is not a suspect in this incident.
Through investigative leads, it was learned that the suspect had made contact with family members and advised them that he had shot a trooper at the Wawa. The family immediately relayed that information to police. With that information investigators learned that the suspect was now in a residence in Brick Mill Farms, Middletown.
As the Delaware State Police Special Operations Response Team arrived at the residence and proceeded to establish a perimeter, the suspect began firing multiple rounds at the officers from inside of the residence. Special Operations Response Teams and Conflict Management Teams from allied police agencies then responded to the scene and attempted to make contact with the male suspect, in an attempt to persuade him to surrender. It had been learned that he was the sole occupant of the home.
When the suspect ceased contact with negotiators, at approximately 8:22 p.m., the Delaware State Police Explosives Ordinance Disposal Unit (EOD) utilized an explosive breeching charge on the front door. Still no contact was made with the suspect. Attempts to contact him to work toward a peaceful surrender continued throughout the overnight hours.
At approximately 4 AM this morning, Thursday, April 27, officers reported hearing numerous gunshots originating from inside of the home. However, once again no contact was made with the suspect.
At 9:17 AM, the armed suspect exited the residence and engaged police. He was then shot by law enforcement. Lifesaving efforts were then initiated by Delaware State Police and EMS personnel, however Sealy succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at 9:29 AM. His body was turned over to the Division of Forensic Science where an autopsy will be performed.
Most of the residents of the neighborhood who had been evacuated were permitted to return home.
This investigation into this incident by the Delaware State Police is still on-going. More information will be released as the investigation progresses.
Released: 042717 1520