Late Smyrna teen in shootout with police identified

DOVER – On Monday, authorities released the name of a 16-year-old male who died after an exchange of gunfire during an early morning traffic stop by police.

Juliun Pitcher was a front seat passenger when he allegedly displayed a handgun as a Delaware State Police trooper approached the vehicle at approximately 3:11 a.m. Saturday, spokesman Master Cpl. Michael Austin said. Firearms were then discharged, he said.

The Pitcher youth was transported from the area of Fieldstone Court just east of Kenton Road to a local hospital where he died from his wounds.

The vehicle’s 18-year-old driver was struck in the leg with a gunshot, then treated and released from a local hospital, police said. The trooper and a 17-year-old rear seat passenger were not injured.

The 35-year-old trooper originally stopped the vehicle for an alleged traffic violation, authorities said. He has been with the DSP for two years and is assigned to Troop 3 in Camden. The trooper was placed on administrative leave as is standard procedure, pending outcome of the investigation.

A handgun was found at the scene by detectives, police said.

Cpl. Austin said investigation continued and more details would be released when available.

Police asked anyone with information to contact Detective D. Grassi of the Homicide Unit at 365-8441. Information may also be provided by calling Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333 or online at www.delaware.crimestoppersweb.com.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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