Police seek witnesses, motive in Delaware State Police trooper killing

Friday, April 28, 2017 12:42PM
Suspect in killing of Del. trooper ID'd; new details released. John Rawlins reports during Action News at 6.

MIDDLETOWN, Del. - Investigators are looking for witnesses to the fatal shooting of a Delaware State Police trooper earlier this week, as they also try to determine why his killer repeatedly pulled the trigger.

Cpl. Stephen Ballard was shot in the parking lot of the Wawa store at 1605 Pulaski Highway shortly after 12 p.m. Wednesday.

If you saw what happened, or have any other information related to the shooting, you are asked to contact Det. Jon King at 302-698-8561, Crimestoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333, online at Delaware.Crimestopperweb.com, or by sending an anonymous tip by text to 274637 (CRIMES) using the keyword "DSP."

Community mourns fallen trooper Stephen Ballard

Police say Ballard was shot multiple times by Burgon Sealy Jr. after Ballard approached the car Sealy was sitting in.

Ballard had noticed something suspicious about two men in a car when Sealy, the passenger, shot him with a handgun.

Ballard, wounded, sought shelter behind a parked car, but Sealy chased after him and fired again, police said, including several shots that he fired "at close range" when the trooper was already on the ground.

Cpl. Stephen Ballard

Sealy then fled to his home in Middletown, where he held police at bay for nearly 20 hours. He was shot and killed by police after emerging from his home Thursday morning.

Police say Sealy "engaged" officers, but the exact circumstances have not been disclosed.
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State police Superintendent Col. Nathaniel McQueen declined to answer questions about Sealy's possible motives, including whether investigators had discovered any links to terrorism.

He also wouldn't say whether Ballard might have been targeted, either individually or as a police officer.

"That investigation is still unfolding, and as those facts become available, we'll certainly make them available," he said.

Police have said Sealy's family is cooperating with the investigation, and there is hope they could help shed light on why Sealy opened fire.

VIDEO: Dignified escort for fallen Del. trooper

Ballard had been on the force for more than eight years. He leaves behind a wife and daughter.

A memorial fund has been set up in Ballard's name.

Checks can be made out to:

DSTA- Stephen Ballard Memorial Fund
PO Box 168
Cheswold DE 19936

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