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Cape Gazette
Lewes, Delaware
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April 28, 2017     Cape Gazette
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April 28, 2017
 

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Fri., April 28 CLIFFORD KEITH BAND 8:30pm Americana, Blues Sat., April 29 COMFORT ZONE 8:30pm Funk Jazz Soul Fri., May 5 SWAMP CANDY 8:30pm Dirty Aggressive Mississippi Blues LEWES LOCATION: Cape Gazette NEWS FRIDAY, APRIL 28 - MONDAY, MAY 1, 2017 23 By Melissa Steele melissasteele@capegazette.com A Middletown man was shot to death by police April 27 after police say he fatally shot a police officer a day earlier. Burgon Sealy Jr., 26, shot Cpl. Stephen Bal- lard, 32, April 26 after Ballard questioned him at a Route 40 Wawa. Delaware State Police Superinten- dent Nathaniel McQueen choked up sev- eral times as he explained how Ballard approached the parked car and was shot by Sealy. Ballard was in uniform, driving a marked car, when he stopped at the Wawa at about noon. He approached a suspicious car occupied by two men, Mc- Queen said. Ballard made contact with the man a n d a s k e d Sealy to step out of the car. That's when a struggle en- sued, McQueen said. Sealy shot Ballard with a handgun that was in his waistband, he said. “Cpl. Ballard attempted to run for cover behind a parked ve- hicle.” However, Sealy pursued him and fired a handgun, striking him in the upper body. “Cpl. Ballard immediately went to the ground, the suspect then fired multiple rounds at close range, again striking him in the upper body,” McQueen said during a press conference. McQueen said Sealy fled the scene and contacted his family, telling them he had just shot a trooper. Sealy's family contacted police and told them Sealy was at his Middletown home, he said. Ballard had worked with Dela- ware State Police for more than eight years; he was assigned to patrol at Troop 2, Glasgow. Rep. Stephen Smyk, R-Milton, worked with Ballard at Troop 4 at the beginning of Ballard's law enforcement career. “He was a very bright, articu- late gentleman,” Smyk said. Smyk said Ballard had once considered quitting the police force, but Smyk convinced him to stay with it. Ballard transferred to Troop 2 soon after, he said. Smyk, who has co-sponsored legislation that could bring back the death penalty, said he expects Ballard's death and the Febru- ary death of prison officer Sgt. Steven Floyd will give the bill credence. “When you had the death penalty, you didn't have the frequency of these events,” he said. “The only thing they fear is death, and they don't have that anymore.” Delaware's death penalty was ruled illegal in 2016 by the Dela- ware Supreme Court because the law allowed a judge to impose the death penalty, not a jury.   The proposed legislation would change Delaware law so that the death penalty could only be decided by a unanimous jury. Standoff ends Sealy was shot to death by law enforcement after he exited the Cpl. Stephen Ballard slain at close range Middletown home and “engaged police,” McQueen said, adding Sealy had a weapon. During the overnight standoff, police said, Sealy shot at police at various times. Law enforcement broke down the door of the home overnight, but they did not enter and instead tried to negotiate his surrender, police said. McQueen said Sealy exited the home at 9:15 a.m., and he was pro- nounced dead at 9:29 a.m. Smyk said he had been told the suspect shouted verses from the Koran at officers and came out firing when he exited the home. “He came out shooting at them,” Smyk said. However, McQueen would not confirm whether Sealy shot at police when he exited the home. In response to a question at a news conference, he also would not say whether Sealy had been radicalized. Sealy also shot out many police car windows during the shoot- out, Smyk said. Flags across the state are be- ing flown at half staff in honor of Ballard. “This is a tragic time for the state police and Delaware,” Mc- Queen said. Burgon Sealy Jr. Cpl. Stephen Ballard Alleged police killer shot following overnight standoff