Man's Homicide is 7th in Dover in 2015 - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Man's Homicide is 7th in Dover in 2015

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DOVER, Del.- Dover police say they are investigating the city's seventh homicide of the year after a 36-year-old man was shot to death late Sunday night. 

Police said that shortly after 11 p.m. the department received reports of shots fired in the area of South New Street with a man being struck. When officers arrived on the scene, they reportedly found Sylvester Williams of Middletown with a gunshot wound to his torso.  Williams was transported to Bayhealth Kent General Hospital where police said he died as a result of his injuries.

No suspects have been announced, and no arrests have been made.

Sunday night's homicide makes 2015 the deadliest year in Dover of the past quarter century. And it could be much longer than that. The available data only went back to 1988.

Dover Police Department spokesman Cpl. Mark Hoffman said it is very concerning.

"It's extremely frustrating. As a police agency, our job is first and foremost to protect the public," he said.

Hoffman points to the heroin and opioid epidemic as a big factor in what's been happening.

"We're seeing many more of them obviously because of the drug trade. We're not sure if this one is drug-related or not. It's still under investigation."

Last year Newsweek Magazine called Wilmington "Murder Town USA." The state has put a lot of focus on dealing with the violence problem in Delaware's largest city.

WBOC asked Gov. Jack Markell if more attention needs to be paid to Dover.

"Many of the initiatives that we've undertaken have been statewide. When we put more troopers on the street, that's statewide. When we formed the gun unit about a year and a half ago to really do some investigations about where these guns are coming from, that also was statewide," said the governor.

In addition to seven homicides in the Dover Police Department's jurisdiction, there was a recent double homicide just outside it in Rodney Village.

It's all got people in Dover very worried.

"I think it's pretty scary, especially for the kids in the particular neighborhoods where it's going on," said Rhonda Piecuski.

And it's got police in Dover hoping this spike will be just a blip.

"I don't think it's going to be a trend that we see in Dover," said Hoffman. "We certainly hope that's not the case."

Police say they're trying to be proactive in the form of starting the new Street Crimes Unit, securing money for 10 more officers and hosting community outreach events. 

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Dover Police Department at (302) 736-7111. Callers may remain anonymous. Tips can also be submitted to law enforcement through tip lines maintained by Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333 or online at http://www.tipsubmit.com or through the Dover Police Department MyPD Mobile App.

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