Burgon Sealy Jr. in standoff with Delaware police after murdering state trooper in Wawa parking lot

Update: Suspect In Delaware Trooper Shooting Killed By Police After 18-Hour Barricade

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.

Continue reading @ Delaware Online


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…

Update: Delaware Online has just confirmed the shooter.

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.

Update #2: Burgon Sealy Jr.: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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.

Corporal Stephen J. Ballard, 32, was shot and killed while investigating a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot of a Wawa convenience store in Bear on Wednesday, police said.

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.

Continue reading @ Heavy

HA! Moody’s claims the retail industry is STABLE after THOUSANDS of stores have closed in the past year

The delusional analysts at Moody’s have issued a report stating that “retail” is stable despite thousands of stores closing over the last year.  These Wall Street vampires need to revisit their findings from a few months back where they essentially warned us that  19 major retailers may be headed for bankruptcy leaving almost 13,216 stores EMPTY

The wider outlook for the retail industry is fairly stable, despite weakness in certain retail sectors, including specialty retailers, discounters and warehouse clubs, department stores, drugstores and office supply stores, according to research from Moody’s Investors Service emailed to Retail Dive on Tuesday.

Online growth, which Moody’s pegs at 8% to 9% of total U.S. retail sales, will continue to outpace overall retail growth, aiding retailers that do well online, according to the report.

Sub-sectors that are boosting the overall outlook include: home improvement, dollar stores, auto parts stores and off-price stores.

Once again, department stores got the brunt of Moody’s analysis. In addition to a 1% decline in sales, Moody’s forecasts a 7% to 8% decrease in operating profits for those retailers this year, not even counting struggling Sears. Department stores have been hard hit by shifts in shopping habits, slowing mall traffic and competition from e-commerce and off-price retailers, according to the report.

The faint growth remains the consequence of reticent American consumers, according to the report. “Consumer spending remains subdued, with gains in household wealth due to improved housing and equity markets a positive, although lower-income households are benefiting less than those with greater discretionary income,” Mickey Chadha, Moody’s vice president and senior…CONTINUE READING AT RETAILDIVE

Coca-Cola cuts 1,200 jobs as consumers dump soda…

Add Coca-Cola to the list that of the companies that will be laying off THOUSANDS in the next year as consumers dump toxic products for healthier options. According to this Fortune report the company will be laying of 1,200 workers in an effort to offset dwindling sales.

Coca-Cola said it will cut 1,200 jobs, the latest major food manufacturer to accelerate cost-cutting efforts as the industry struggles with a weak growth outlook.

The soda giant said it would trim the jobs beginning in the second half of 2017 and carrying into 2018 as it tries to become “faster and more agile.” “While these necessary changes are always very difficult, they will help us do fewer things better to lead and support our operating units,” said James Quincey, who will succeed Muhtar Kent to become CEO of Coke (KO, -0.51%) this year.

Overall, the soda manufacturer said it would expand the company’s current cost-savings program by $800 million to $3.8 billion. Quincey said the company aims to re-invest “at least half of the savings,” though Coke is still finalizing a complete plan for how it will use all the savings beyond simply saying it would create value for shareholders.

Coke’s move to cut jobs comes as many major food and beverage manufacturers—a group collectively known as “Big Food”—have cut thousands of jobs in a bid to trim costs and restructure their operations. Others that have cut jobs have included Hershey (HSY, +0.02%), General Mills (GIS, +0.17%) and Kellogg (K, -0.58%). All have been under pressure to cut costs to boost cash flows because of the aggressiveness at 3G-backed Kraft Heinz (KHC, -0.29%), which has put some pressure on others in the industry to step up their game.

The cost-cutting comes as Big Food manufacturers have found their legacy brands pressuring by a consumer trend toward foods and drinks they deem healthier, a trend executives say will only accelerate over time. Startups—which have raised billions of private investors—have built up impressive sales because consumers say they want the cleaner labels those smaller firms often offer. As a result, companies like Coca-Cola—which is highly exposed to the declining soda industry—have had to change. Coke has aimed to bulk up the company’s healthier offerings by selling more Smartwater, flavored water Vitaminwater, and dairy brand Fairlie.

Struggling retailer J. Crew announces BIG layoffs at corporate office

J. Crew, who has been “quietly” struggling for years has announced 250 layoffs according to this Racked report.

In the not-so-distant past, it was a retail darling. But after consecutive years of slumping sales, today’s J.Crew is struggling to keep shoppers interested. On Tuesday, it announced a significant casualty of its ongoing financial challenges: the elimination of 250 full- and part-time jobs, mostly in its corporate headquarters.

The layoffs should save J.Crew $30 million, counterbalancing the $10 million it expects to pay in severance and other termination costs.

These job cuts, indicative of the overall dismal state of brick-and-mortar retail, come with a number of executive changes within J.Crew, which also owns Madewell. The chief operating and financial officer of J.Crew Group, Michael Nicholson, is now taking the lead on the J.Crew brand, giving him oversight on design, merchandising, and marketing. Madewell’s senior vice president of merchandising is getting bumped up to run merchandising for J.Crew, and J.Crew’s president will become president of Madewell.

While Madewell’s sales rose 14 percent to $341.6 million during fiscal 2016, J.Crew’s sales dropped 6 percent to a little over $2 billion. J.Crew’s comparable sales — a metric that only looks at stores that have been open for a full year, excluding the buoying effect of sales from newly opened locations — were down a steeper 8 percent.

Top 10 major retailers ready to default in 2018

(MONEY)  Here’s S&P’s full list, including the likelihood the companies will default in the next year:

  1. Sears Holdings Corp. (Sears and KMart)
    Probability of Default: 23.84%
  2. DGSE Companies Inc. (Dallas Gold and Silver Exchange)
    Probability of Default: 14.87%
  3. Appliance Recycling Centers of America Inc. (Appliance recycling service company)
    Probability of Default: 11.96%
  4. The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. (Bon-Ton, a department store chain)
    Probability of Default: 10.48%
  5. Bebe Stores Inc. (Bebe)
    Probability of Default: 10.06%
  6. Destination XL Group Inc. (Big & Tall Men’s Apparel)
    Probability of Default: 8.08%
  7. Perfumania Holdings Inc. (Perfumania.com)
    Probability of Default: 7.24%
  8. Fenix Parts Inc. (Automotive parts recycler)
    Probability of Default: 6.98%
  9. Tailored Brands Inc. (Men’s Wearhouse, Moores, Joseph Abboud)
    Probability of Default: 6.8%
  10. Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores Inc. (Sears Hometown and Outlet)
    Probability of Default: 6.11%

Pollo Tropical closing 30 restaurants

Retail isn’t the only sector struggling. According to this NBC report Pollo Tropical will be closing 30 underperforming locations.

The Fiesta Restaurant Group will close 30 Pollo Tropical restaurants in Texas, Georgia and Tennessee.

Back in October, Pollo Tropical closed 10 of its then 209 locations, most of those in Texas.

On Monday, Dallas-based Fiesta said it was closing all Pollo Tropical locations in Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin and Nashville. Fiesta said it would continue to operated 19 Pollo Tropical restaurants outside its original market of Florida, including 13 in Atlanta and six in Texas.

As many as five closed Pollo Tropicals may be converted to Fiesta’s Taco Cabana brand, the company said.

 

Fiesta said preliminary same-store sales for the first quarter ended April 2 showed declines continued at both its brands. Preliminary same-store sales fell 6.7 percent at Pollo Tropical and dropped 4.5 percent at Taco Cabana.

Panera to add 10,000 jobs by the end of 2017

Panera continues to defy the odds. According to this CNBC report the company has announced they will be adding 10,000 jobs by the end of 2017.

Panera Bread is going full-steam ahead to expand delivery services to more of its cafes.

The sandwich shop said it intends to hire 10,000 new employees by the end of the year to assist with this initiative. Some 75 percent of the new hires will be delivery drivers, while the remaining 25 percent will be in-cafe jobs, according to Blaine Hurst, president Panera.

Panera has already rolled out delivery to 15 percent of its system, including 20 percent of its company-owned locations. By the end of 2017, it hopes to expand delivery to 35 percent to 40 percent of system-wide locations.

Hurst expects each cafe to hire seven to 12 drivers and staff members. He said it would cost about $25,000 per cafe to add delivery capabilities, the majority of which goes toward hiring and training labor.

Panera is in the process of being acquired by privately held JAB Holding in a deal valued at about $7.5 billion.

Drivers will be vetted by the company, said Hurst. Their insurance, driving records and car will all be inspected in order for the drivers to be hired and certified to work. Hurst said drivers’ cars will be inspected on a regular basis and drivers will be compensated for their mileage.

By using this Uber-style method, Panera does not have to invest in its own fleet of vehicles. But by screening the drivers itself, it has more control over the guest experience.

The restaurant has also created a new order tracking system that allows customers to see their meals’ expected arrival time, a map of the driver’s progress and a photograph of their driver.

The minimum menu purchase is $5 and the typical delivery fee will be $3, according to the company. Hurst told CNBC that the average check is about $22.

Nearly 10,000 Stores Could Close This Year As Retail ‘Bubble’ Bursts

As I predicted months ago we are witnessing a monumental downturn in the retail sector. According to this Daily Caller report nearly 10,000 may close this year.

Brick-and-mortar shops and retail chains are closing at a record rate, and there’s no sign the decline will stop, The Wall Street Journal reports.

In the first four months of 2017, retailers have announced a total of 2,880 store closures, and some financial services firm Credit Suisse predicts that around 8,600 stores will close this year. That’s more than closed during the financial crisis in 2008, and twice the number that closed in 2016.

Several smaller stores will shutter all or most of their mall and free standing stores this year. Clothing chain Rue21 announced April 17 that it will close 400 of its 1,100 stores nationwide. Bebe, which sells “unique, sophisticated and timelessly sexy” women’s clothing, will close all of its 168 physical stores nationwide by the end of May, the company announced Friday.

Smaller retail chains are closing the most physical locations, but retail giants are also scaling back. JC Penney will close 128 of its 1,000 locations, Sears plans to close 41 of 695 stores, and Kmart plans to shutter 109 of 735 stores, WSJ reports.

Sears goes into PANIC mode by cutting senior management positions, closing 92 pharmacies in Kmart stores, along with 50 Sears Auto Centers

According to USA Today Sears is aggressively downsizing their sinking ship, by cutting key senior management positions and closing more pharmacy’s and auto centers.

Sears, which has been shuttering stores to boost its bottom line, announced more steps Friday to try to get its financial house in order, including finding an extra $250 million in savings and a new chief financial officer.

The beleaguered retailer has raised its savings goal for this year to $1.25 billion, a target it hopes to reach by cutting some senior management positions, and closing 92 pharmacies in Kmart stores, along with 50 Sears Auto Centers. Those closures come on top of the planned shuttering of 150 under-performing stores that were announced in January.

“Earlier this year, we initiated a strategic restructuring program and committed to improving our operating performance and financial flexibility in a very challenging retail environment,” Edward Lampert, CEO of Sears Holdings, said in a statement. “While we have made significant progress in reducing our cost base and enhancing our member value proposition, we need to take further action.”

Sears has been trying to turn around its flailing operations, selling off pieces of its expansive real estate, borrowing money and shedding some of its vaunted brands. The iconic retailer has been battered by many of the same challenges that are pressuring other traditional store chains which are struggling to compete with Amazon and other online sites.

But Sears’ financial troubles are deep. It hasn’t turned a profit since 2010, and last year racked up more than $2.2 billion in losses. It’s also been dogged by a series of management missteps, from the sale of its more than $30 billion credit portfolio to Citibank in 2003, to a merger with Kmart, another struggling retailer, in 2004.

NerdWallet announces layoffs after record breaking quarter

After a record breaking quarter the popular website Nerdwallet has announced they will be cutting 8% of their workforce according to this Biz Journal report.

San Francisco-based NerdWallet shed more than 40 employees, or 8 percent of its workforce, with a couple of senior executives heading for the exit, the company told the San Francisco Business Times Thursday.

“We had to make tough choices to enable faster execution,” said NerdWallet CEO Tim Chen. “Despite a record-breaking quarter, NerdWallet has decided to shift resources to align by consumer pain points, rather than by financial product.”

NerdWallet provides tools and advice on a range of personal finance topics, including credit cards, mortgages and insurance. The company makes money on referral fees. NerdWallet says its “partners” include Bank of America, American Express and JPMorgan Chase.

The company, with 440 employees after the layoffs, is among the companies making the List of the Largest San Francisco Tech employers, based on number of employees in the city. The list appears in this week’s San Francisco Business Times.

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