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Delaware State Police

Superintendent Colonel Melissa Zebley

*UPDATE #5-Second Victim Succumbs to Injuries-Suspect Identified* Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery Shooting Confirmed to Be a Homicide

Date Posted: Sunday, May 10th, 2020

Bear – The Delaware State Police have identified 29 year old Sheldon C. Francis of Middletown, as the suspect responsible for the shooting of an 85 year old female, and 86 year old male, husband and wife from Elkton, Maryland, on the grounds of the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery located at 2465 Chesapeake City Rd., in Bear, at approximately 10:13 a.m., Friday, May 8, 2020.

Sheldon C. Francis (2009 photo)

The 86 year old male victim was initially admitted to an area hospital in critical condition. On Saturday, May 9, 2020 the male victim succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased at the hospital. The 85 year old female victim was pronounced deceased on scene at the time of the original incident. Identification of both victims is pending notification of next of kin.

Francis was located deceased at approximately 4:00 p.m., on the date of the incident, in a wooded area located just off of Brennan Blvd., in the development of Brennan Estates, which is adjacent to the grounds of the cemetery. This wooded area was where an exchange of gunfire between Francis and officers on scene had taken place at approximately 12:08 p.m. Upon being located Francis was confirmed to have sustained a gunshot wound. It is undetermined at this time if the wound was self-inflicted or as a result of the exchange of gunfire.

The investigation is active and ongoing and will be furthered by the Delaware State Police Homicide Unit. Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to contact Det. M. Ryde by calling 302-698-8557.

Information may also be provided by calling Delaware crime stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333 or via the internet at

Click on the following links to view related releases:

Troopers Investigating Shots Fired Complaint- Bear

*UPDATE- Road Closure- Summit Bridge Rd* Troopers Investigating Shots Fired Complaint- Bear

*UPDATE #2*- Troopers Investigating Shots Fired Complaint- Bear

*UPDATE #3 – Situation Resolved* Troopers Investigating Shooting Incident – Bear

*UPDATE #4* Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery Shooting Confirmed to Be a Homicide

If you or someone you know is a victim or witness of crime or have lost a loved one to a sudden death and are in need of assistance, the Delaware State Police Victim Services Unit/Delaware Victim Center is available to offer you support and resources 24 hours a day through a toll free hotline 1800 VICTIM-1. (1800 842-8461).  You may also email the unit Director at

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Delaware State Police Official Web Site




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Presented by Public Information Officer, Master Corporal Michael Austin

Released: 051020 0715


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