Suspect in murder of Delaware State Police trooper shot, killed after standoff

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

MIDDLETOWN, Del. (WPVI) -- Delaware State Police have identified the man who shot and killed a trooper on Wednesday, and was then killed himself by police gunfire on Thursday morning.

He is identified as 26-year-old Burgon Sealy Jr. of Middletown, Delaware. He was shot after a nearly day-long standoff with police at his home.

Cpl. Stephen Ballard, 32, was shot in the parking lot of a Wawa at 1605 Pulaski Highway in Bear, Del. around 12 p.m. Wednesday.

During a news conference on Thursday, officials released more details about the incident.

Officials say it all began when Ballard spotted a suspicious red Dodge Charger occupied by two suspects in the Wawa parking lot. Police have not said why the vehicle was thought to be suspicious.

Ballard made contact with the driver, then made contact with Sealy, who was in the front passenger seat.

Sealy told Ballard he had arrived at the Wawa in a gray Honda Accord, which was also in the parking lot.

Cpl. Stephen Ballard

Ballard asked Sealy to step out of the vehicle, and then there was a struggle. Police say that's when Sealy fired at Ballard with a handgun he had in his waistband.

Ballard attempted to run for cover behind a parked vehicle. Police say Sealy pursued him, and fired at Ballard, hitting him in the upper body.

With Ballard on the ground, police say Sealy approached him and then fired multiple rounds at close range, striking Ballard again in the upper body.

Sealy fled in the Honda then called family members, police say, and said he shot a trooper at the Wawa. His family immediately called police.

With that information, police were able to track Sealy down to his home in the Brick Mill Farms development in Middletown, Delaware.

Police arrived, secured a perimeter, and attempted to make contact with Sealy. He then fired multiple rounds at the officers from inside the home.

Video: Chopper 6 over search for suspect in Middletown, Del.

He was the only one inside.

When Sealy stopped communicating with officers at about 8:22 p.m., the ordnance unit used an explosive breaching charge on the front door.

Still, Sealy failed to respond and the standoff stretched into the overnight hours.

"Every hour the bombs went off. So at 1:50 [a.m. ]there was a bomb and we heard explosions, then at 2:30 and we heard a bomb and they blew off the doors and the side of the house," said resident Brie Utz.

"It was scary, like gunshots all night, through the whole night. We didn't get any sleep," said resident Ashley Pennybacker.

At around 4 a.m. Thursday, officers reported hearing gunshots from inside the home. Again, police say they tried to make contact, but got no response.

Then, at 9:17 a.m., Sealy emerged from the home, "engaged" with officers, and was shot and killed by police.

Police say he emerged with weapons, but it wasn't known what kind of weapons he had or if he fired at police.

Rescuers on the scene began efforts to save his life, but he was pronounced dead at 9:22 a.m.

Sealy had been arrested in Florida a few years ago, but it does not appear he was known to Delaware State Police. It's also not clear what motivated the violent outburst.

Police say Sealy's family is cooperating with investigators.

Meanwhile, the driver of the red Dodge Charger remained at the Wawa and was initially taken into custody. He has since been released.

VIDEO: Police escort for fallen Del. trooper

Ballard had been with the Delaware State Police for more than eight years and was assigned to patrol at Troop 2, Glasgow.

Trooper Ballard's body was transported from the Medical Examiner's Office late Thursday morning to Congo Funeral Home in Wilmington.

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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