UPDATE: DSP investigating deadly shooting at cemetery
BEAR, Del. – The Delaware State Police are conducting a homicide investigation after they say a husband and wife from Elkton, Maryland were shot at the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery Friday morning.
Police say at approximately 10:13 a.m., Troopers were dispatched to the cemetery for a report of shots being fired. The first arriving officers on scene located the victims and confirmed that they both had sustained gunshot wounds. The female victim, aged 85, was pronounced dead at the scene. The male, age 86, was taken to a nearby hospital in critical condition. Initial reports from the scene also advised that a subject had been seen running into an adjacent wooded area immediately after the gunshots were heard.
We’re told at approximately 11:08 a.m., officers on scene observed a man running into a wooded area, between the cemetery and Brennan Blvd., in the development of Brennan Estates. Officers immediately secured the area where the subject was observed.
At approximately 12:08 p.m., police say an exchange of gunfire took place between officers on scene and the suspect in the wooded area. We’re told during this exchange, no law enforcement officers were injured.
At approximately 4:00 p.m., officers made entry into the wooded area where they located the suspect who was confirmed to be deceased. We’re told they also observed that the suspect, a 29-year-old Middletown man, had sustained an apparent gunshot wound. It is undetermined at this time if the gunshot wound was self-inflicted or as a result of the earlier exchange of gunfire.
Police say the Delaware Division of Forensic Science will perform autopsies to determine the cause and manner of the deaths.
During the course of the incident, communication had been made with area residents via a reverse 911 call, and advised to shelter in place. Some residents who were in closer proximity to the incident were temporarily evacuated. Multiple area roadways were also closed during the operation.
Upon locating the suspect the area was deemed secure at which time the evacuees were able to return home and roadways were re-opened. Based on the nature of the incident a large police presence remained in the area as part of the ongoing investigation.
The investigation is active and ongoing and will be furthered by the Delaware State Police Homicide Unit. Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to contact Det. M. Ryde by calling 302-698-8557.