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No Motive Released in Shooting Death of Officer Ballard

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MIDDLETOWN, Del. (AP) - Police haven't released the motive behind the fatal shooting of a Delaware state trooper that led to an all-night standoff which ended in the suspect's death.

State police Superintendent Col. Nathaniel McQueen says 26-year-old Burgon Sealy Jr. was killed Thursday when he emerged from his home armed and "engaged police."

McQueen says Sealy shot Cpl. Stephen Ballard multiple times Wednesday afternoon after the trooper fell to the ground from Sealy's initial gunshot. The trooper died at a hospital.

McQueen declined to answer questions about Sealy's possible motives, including whether investigators had discovered any links to terrorism. He also wouldn't say whether Ballard might have been targeted, either individually or as a police officer.

Officer Remembered

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Officer Stephen Ballard

The Delaware state trooper killed in the line of duty was remembered Thursday as a family man who was warm and always smiling.
Ballard was fatally shot Wednesday in the parking lot of a convenience store in New Castle County.

Authorities say Ballard had approached a vehicle with two suspicious people inside before the passenger, Sealy shot him. The driver was arrested Wednesday at the scene and Sealy, who fled, was fatally shot Thursday by police.

The 32-year-old Ballard was a 2007 graduate of Delaware State University, where he majored in criminal justice. He graduated from the police academy in 2009.

Lt. Thomas Brackin, the president of Delaware State Police Troopers Association, says Ballard was a "very dedicated family man" and "very well-liked and respected by those he worked with." He leaves behind a wife and a 5-year-old stepdaughter.


Don Rush is the News Director at Delmarva Public Media. An award-winning journalist, Don reports major local issues of the day, from sea level rise, to urban development, to the changing demographics of Delmarva.