Twenty-one hours after barricading himself inside his family’s Middletown home, the 26-year-old man who had earlier killed a Delaware state trooper emerged Thursday morning carrying a weapon when police used an armored vehicle to rip siding off the structure.
Burgon Sealy Jr., who had rained gunfire on hundreds of officers during the standoff, was gunned down at 9:17 a.m. on his front lawn by the officers surrounding his home in the Brick Mill Farm development, said Delaware State Police Col. Nathaniel McQueen Jr.
A yellow sheet lay over Sealy’s body on the manicured lawn, littered with shards of siding. Behind him, the white single-family home with green shutters sat in tatters – pink insulation clinging to wallboard and windows blasted out by explosive devices police used in hopes of convincing Sealy to surrender.
Hundreds of officers armed with assault rifles and bullet-proof vests remained at the scene Thursday, with police vehicles lining nearly every roadway leading to the home. Officers from the FBI, New Castle County and Wilmington police joined Delaware State troopers at the barricade. Helicopters took off and landed from a large green circular park in the middle of the development, picking up officers and dropping others off.
The case drew national attention Wednesday and Thursday after Cpl. Stephen J. Ballard, an 8½ year veteran with Delaware State Police, was gunned down in a Bear-area Wawa parking lot 15 miles from the barricaded home.
McQueen Jr. tearfully explained how Sealy got out an acquaintance’s vehicle in the parking lot and began shooting Ballard during a “suspicious vehicle” check just after noon Wednesday along Pulaski Highway.
Ballard turned to run for cover but Sealy continued to shoot him, McQueen said. When the trooper fell to the ground, Sealy repeatedly shot him at close range.
Ballard, who was on duty and in full uniform, later died from his injuries at Christiana Hospital, McQueen said.
“The acts of Stephen yesterday exemplified the dedication that he brought to the citizens of Delaware on a daily basis,” McQueen said, his voice thick with emotion.
McQueen declined to comment on whether 32-year-old Ballard was targeted. He would not speak to Sealy’s motive, citing the ongoing investigation.
McQueen said Sealy contacted family members after the shooting Wednesday and told them he had shot a trooper at the Wawa. His family then contacted police.
A second man, in the driver’s seat of the vehicle when Sealy began shooting also at the Wawa, was taken into custody at the convenience store, McQueen said. He has been released and is not considered a suspect in the investigation.
Sealy jumped into his own vehicle at the Wawa and streaked to the family home in Middletown. Sealy was “well-armed and heavily equipped,” McQueen said, though he would not comment on the type of weapons the man had in the home.
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Burgon Sealy Jr. is currently barricaded inside 518 St Michaels Drive. Earlier in the day, around 12 pm, Sealy shot a Delaware State Trooper in the middle of the Wawa parking lot in Bear, Delaware after store employees reported seeing a suspicious vehicle parked outside the premises. A trooper, later identified as Cpl. Stephen J. Ballard responded to the call and approached the car in question.
According to a source inside Christiana Hospital who had first-hand information about the brutal killing, Sealy got out and handed the officer his license and then moments later Sealy attempted to run away. When he was about 10 feet from Cpl. Ballard Sealy brandished a gun and opened fire, striking the officer once. While Ballard was down, it was reported that Sealy walked up to him and continued to shoot numerous times at point blank range. As the story develops we will continue to bring you more updates…
Sources with knowledge of the investigation said the man barricaded inside is 26-year-old Burgon Sealy Jr. In 2013 Sealy was charged northeast of Orlando, Florida, for possession of a small amount of marijuana and possession of a concealed weapon, according to the Volusia County Corrections. He presented a Delaware driver’s license when stopped.
A Middletown neighbor who lives on the block identified for The News Journal the home where the shots are being fired, and county records indicate the property is owned by Burgon Sealy Sr. Although state officials would not release the suspect’s name, police did confirm that the suspect holed up in the home lives there with his family.
“The suspect has been firing shots at the police officers from the residence he lives in, and is currently holed up in the house,” Fournier said.
A man suspected in the fatal shooting of a Delaware State Police trooper remains barricaded inside a home in Middletown, police say.
While police have not yet identified him, sources told The News-Journal that the suspect is 26-year-old Burgon Sealy, Jr.
The shooter fled from the scene and is believed to be barricaded inside a home in Middletown, Delaware, state police said in a press release.
Another suspect was taken into custody at the scene. The second suspect has not yet been named.
Bear and Middletown are located near Newark, Delaware. The shooting happened about noon outside the Wawa convenience store at 1605 Pulaski Highway. The standoff was still ongoing just before midnight.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Gunman Shot the Trooper Multiple Times After He Fell to the Ground From the First Shot, Witnesses Say
State Police Colonel Nathaniel McQueen Jr. said the trooper saw a suspicious vehicle outside the Wawa, withe two suspects inside. McQueen said the trooper “made contact with the occupants and shortly thereafter, a struggle ensued. It was at this time that one of the two suspects exited the vehicle and proceeded to fire several rounds, striking the trooper.”
One suspect was taken into custody by responding troopers “without incident,” McQueen said. The second suspect fled on foot, he said.
A witness told The News Journal he was at a red light near the convenience store when the shooting occurred. Clarence Travers told the newspaper he heard gunfire and saw a police officer in a blue uniform fall to the ground.
Travers told The News Journal he then saw a man get out of his vehicle, walk around the car and shoot the officer on the ground multiple times, before running away.
Another witness told the newspaper the trooper’s SUV was parked “catty-corner to another vehicle, as if he quickly stopped and approached it.”
Kevin Lerner, who works at a barber shop next to the Wawa, told WPVI-TV he saw the shooting.
“When he pushed the officer he got a little room to run. So he pushed him and ran, and when he ran he ran for like seven or eight feet,” Lerner told the news station. “And then he turned around and started shooting. Just instantly started shooting.”
Witnesses said the suspect stood over Ballard and shot him “execution style,” the news station reports.
The state trooper was rushed to Christiana Hospital, The News Journal reports.
Colonel Nathaniel McQueen Jr., the State Police superintendent, told reports at a 5 p.m. press conference that the trooper had died.
“It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that we announce the death of a Delaware state trooper,” McQueen said. He did not identify the trooper, pending notification of next of kin.
A witness said people started CPR on the trooper before emergency responders arrived. Monica Moore told The News Journal she heard the gunshots and then saw the trooper on the ground face down. She said bystanders quickly rushed to begin CPR.
“I saw him and just wanted to help,” Moore said.
2. Sealy Fled From the Scene & Barricaded Himself Inside His Father’s Home, Where He Fired More Shots at Officers, Police Say
Burgon Sealy Jr. barricaded himself inside a home in the Brick Mill Farm Development in Middletown, according to a Delaware State Police press release. The development is located in the 500 block of St. Michaels Drive.
The home is owned by Burgon Sealy Sr., The News Journal reports.
“This investigation is related to the incident in which a trooper was shot outside a Newark area convenience store. A male suspect has refused orders to surrender and continues to fire rounds at police officers,” state police said. “No further details are available at this time and updates regarding this incident will be sent hourly or until the situation is resolved.”
A heavy police presence was seen in the area, and residents were warned to stay inside.
“Multiple Special Operations Response Teams and Conflict Management Teams from allied police agencies are attempt to make contact with the male subject and are continuing to attempt to persuade him to surrender,” state police said.
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