Delaware trooper fatally shot outside convenience store

MIDDLETOWN, Del. — A man shot and killed a Delaware state trooper outside a convenience store on Wednesday and later barricaded himself inside his house, where he continued to fire shots at officers, police said.

The trooper was shot multiple times and died at a hospital, Col. Nathaniel McQueen, the state police superintendent, said at a news conference.

“This is a sad day for our state and for the Delaware State Police family,” McQueen said, with Gov. John Carney at his side.

The trooper, whose name was not released pending notification of relatives, was shot around 12:10 p.m. after he approached a vehicle in the parking lot of a convenience store. McQueen said the vehicle had two suspicious people inside.

One man got out of the car and shot the trooper several times before running away, McQueen said. The other man was arrested at the scene, he said.

Police tracked the gunman to his home in a subdivision of two-story homes in Middletown, about 15 miles (25 kms) south of where the trooper was shot. The gunman, alone in the house, refused to leave and fired several shots at officers surrounding the home, said Master Cpl. Gary Fournier, a state police spokesman. No other officers were injured.

“There have been multiple gunshots that have come from the house at police officers,” Fournier said.

Hostage negotiators were on the scene and established contact with the man in an effort to get him to surrender peacefully, Fournier said. But there was no quick resolution as the standoff stretched into the late afternoon.

Police used a robo-calling system to tell residents in the areas to stay inside and lock their doors. The Appoquinimink School District went on lockdown, keeping all students and staff inside school buildings. Parents were told not to go to school to pick up their kids.

Police have identified the man, Fournier said, but have yet to release his name.

One witness, Clarence Travers, told The News Journal of Wilmington that he heard gunfire while sitting at a red light and saw a police officer fall to the ground. After the initial gunfire, Travers said he saw a man get out of a car and shoot the officer on the ground multiple times before getting away.

Police have not corroborated Travers’ version of events.

A caravan of law enforcement vehicles was preparing to accompany the slain officer’s body to the state Division of Forensic Sciences for an autopsy.