Man shot and killed in Lewes after pointing gun at police

LEWES — A 46-year-old man threatening to take his own life was fatally shot by a Delaware state trooper after pointing a gun at police Friday evening, authorities said.

The incident occurred around 8:22 p.m. in the 300 block of East Savannah Road in Lewes.
Troopers, while assisting Lewes Police Department, were at the residence where a man with a handgun was making suicidal statements, said Master Cpl. Michael Austin, a spokesman for the Delaware State Police.

Master Cpl. Austin said police were communicating with the man outside of the residence. Standing in the driveway, the man placed the handgun on the ground two times during the conversation.

Master Cpl. Austin said the man then proceeded to pick up the gun, “refusing to comply with multiple verbal commands not to do so.” He did not fire his weapon, Master Cpl. Austin said in a separate interview Saturday.

“Once in possession of the handgun he then pointed it at the troopers and Lewes Police Department officers, at which time a trooper discharged his divisional issued patrol rifle, striking the suspect in the upper torso,” Master Cpl. Austin said in a prepared statement.

Master Cpl. Austin said the initial call came from someone inside of the residence. He said that he was unsure of the caller’s relationship to the man and didn’t have information about how many people were inside the residence at the time.

The man was taken to Beebe Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Master Cpl. Austin said. He added that identification is pending, following notification of next of kin.

Master Cpl. Austin said the trooper involved in the shooting is assigned to Troop 7 in Lewes. He has been employed by the Delaware State Police for five years.

Per divisional policy, Master Cpl. Austin said the trooper has been placed on administrative leave. He added that the investigation is active and ongoing.
On Saturday morning, East Savannah Road was closed between Cedar Street and Massachusetts Avenue while the investigation continued.

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