Delaware State Trooper Shot to Death; Killer Brought Down After Standoff

Trevor Wickstrom and Angel Arno

On Wednesday April 26th, Delaware State Police Officer Corporal Stephen J. Ballard, who was only 32 years old, was shot down after investigating a suspected drug deal.

The police later identified the shooter as 26-year-old Burgon Sealy.

Around 10 am Ballard was suspicious of the red Dodge Charger sitting in the parking lot of Wawa convenience store in Bear, Delaware. ABC News reported, “Police say that they think Ballard had a reason to talk to two men the red Dodge Charger and that it could have been drug involvement.”

When Ballard came over to the car, he asked for both the passengers ID’s, when he talked to Sealy they had an argument. During this disagreement, Sealy allegedly pulled a gun, then proceeded to shoot Ballard. 

The State Police superintendent said Sealy Jr.(the suspect) exited the car, and began struggling with Ballard. Before Ballard could unholster his firearm, the suspect began firing at him, fatally shooting him in the head. Sealy then shot Ballard multiple times more while he was on the ground.


One witness, Faith Allen, who tried to perform first aid for the fallen trooper, told NBC10, “He(the suspect) shot him right in the head.”

Sealy proceeded to flee the scene in his own grey Honda, while the other passenger was arrested.

A warning to all the schools around Appoquinimink School District in the Middletown, Delaware were placed under lockdown, due to the shooter on the loose in the are. Sealy ran to his home at St. Michaels Drive in the Brick Mill Farm development.

Sealy apparently warned all the people living in the house about shooting Officer Ballard. It seems it was his own family members who contacted the state police about Sealy’s whereabouts.

Several dozen people from the nearby area were evacuated out of their homes due to Sealy settling in for a standoff.  This lead to a SWAT crew stationing outside of his house.

Sealy fired more shots at the officers the superintendent says.

Negotiators were able to get a hold of Sealy but he soon cut all communications.  The standoff continued until dark and carried over to the next day.

The barricaded house had windows and doors demolished from explosive charges placed by the SWAT team in order to enter. Sealy (who was later found to beunder the influence) exchanged fire with SWAT officers and was shot dead.

According to NBC10, they tried several times to get him to surrender peacefully but was unable to convince him.

Sealy has been charged previously with violent crimes, including a weapons charge.

According to NBC10 “There was definitely gunfire, I could hear them on the bullhorn but I couldn’t really make out what they were saying,” said Susan Drejka, a resident of the neighborhood.

Police press releases say Ballard was an eight-year veteran of the Delaware State Police.

State Governor John Carney wrote on Twitter “The U.S. and State flags are to be flown at half- staff in memory of fallen Delaware State Police Corporal Stephen J. Ballard.”