Delaware State Police Identify Fallen Trooper - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delaware State Police Identify Fallen Trooper

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(Image: MGN) (Image: MGN)

MIDDLETOWN, Del. (WBOC)  Delaware State Police say a trooper is dead after being shot by a suspect in New Castle County.

Delaware State Police say the trooper was Stephen J. Ballard, 32, an eight and a half year veteran of the State Police assigned to patrol at Troop 2 in Glasgow.

Col. Nathanial McQueen said Ballard was on patrol at the Wawa on Pulaski Highway in Bear when he noticed a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot. Ballard approached the two suspects inside, which led to an altercation. McQueen said the suspects fired shots during the struggle. One suspect was taken into custody, while the other ran away.

Ballard was treated by EMS at the scene but pronounced dead on arrival at Christiana Medical Center.

Police were able to locate that second suspect at a home in Middletown. Sgt. Richard Bratz said earlier that home is in the 500 block of St. Michaels Drive in the Brick Mill Farm Development. According to McQueen, the suspect refuses to surrender and is continuing to fire shots at police surrounding the home. 

Around 8:20 Wednesday evening, Cpl. Gary Fournier says an explosive breeching charge was used on the front door of the home the suspect was in, but police had not entered the home.

Around 4:00 a.m. on Thursday morning, Delaware State Police released confirmation that officers once again came under fire from the suspect, adding agencies explosively breeched numerous windows but had not entered the residence at that point. There were also no reported injuries at that time in the morning.

As of Thursday morning, multiple Special Operations Response Teams and Conflict Management Teams were attempting to make contact with the male subject and persuade him to surrender.

Homes in the area remain evacuated. The Odessa Fire Company, located at 304 Main Street in Odessa, opened its facility to temporarily house the evacuated residents of Brick Mill Farms Development while allied police agencies continue to negotiate with the armed barricaded subject. Local American Red Cross Disaster Action Team volunteers were still on the scene on Thursday morning to provide shelter, food and comfort items.

Governor John Carney issued a statement on the fallen trooper saying: “My heart is with the officer’s family and the officers who have served beside him. Delaware's law enforcement officers go to work every day knowing they put their lives on the line to protect ours. We are incredibly indebted to their bravery and service.”

U.S. Senator Tom Carper also released a statement saying: “My heart is in Delaware, and it breaks for the loved ones of the Delaware State Police trooper who will not return home this evening. Martha and I consider Delaware State troopers to be an extension of our family. We are sending our love and prayers to his friends, family and the Delaware State Police family. This unthinkable tragedy reminds us of the extraordinary courage and service of our men and women in law enforcement protecting our communities"

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