Man killed in police shooting at New Castle
Delaware State Police are investigating a Thursday morning police shooting that left a 28-year-old man dead and two troopers injured.
According to police, troopers with the Governor's Task Force and the Special Operations Response Team were at the Lowe's on Hessler Boulevard near New Castle just before 7:30 a.m. for a "known fugitive shoplifting at the business." The man, whom police have not yet publicly identified, had a cart full of items, including a rug and box fan.
Troopers in camouflage with long guns could be seen in the area where the shooting occurred. Police said they tried to stop the man, but he ran to a "getaway" vehicle parked behind the home improvement store.
The man continued to ignore commands to stop, police said, and hit an unmarked state police truck while attempting to flee. Troopers shot the man "when he continued to drive in a manner that placed officers in imminent danger," a news release said.
Police performed first aid on the man until paramedics arrived. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Hours after the shooting, detectives could be seen snapping photos of the police truck, which had its driver-side door open, and a white car. That area was the focus of the investigation, with police flying a drone above the two vehicles.
The driver’s side of the car was wedged into a guardrail, the unmarked truck directly next to it. Detectives later placed an evidence marker on its hood.
In the rear of Lowe’s, there was a shopping cart filled with items. A box fan lay on the pavement near the shopping cart, as well as a reusable water bottle.
Shortly after 10 a.m., a police detective could be seen photographing the cart and its items.
Around 10:30 a.m., a group of young men gathered by crime scene tape, wondering if the person shot was a friend from Philadelphia. They asked a state trooper stationed by his patrol vehicle if he had any information to share.
He provided no information, saying only that the investigation was ongoing.
Police closed the rear of the Lowe’s, leading to Hessler Boulevard, for hours on Thursday. They also had the road closed past the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Sgt. Leonard DeMalto said at an afternoon news conference that Thursday was "a tough day for many people."
"A family lost a loved one, two troopers were injured and a whole community has been impacted by a serious incident," DeMalto said.
He said that though the man's name has not yet been released, police "plan on releasing more details as they are uncovered and confirmed in the near future."
He did not say how the two troopers were injured or how many were placed on administrative leave.
It is department policy to place troopers involved in shootings on paid leave pending these kinds of shooting investigations.
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