Milford officer recovering after Rehoboth Beach shooting

MILFORD — A wounded Milford police officer remained hospitalized Monday, authorities said, as the investigation into a fatal shooting involving a fugitive in Rehoboth Beach last week continued.

Senior Cpl. Timothy “T.J.” Webb, 38, is part of the First State Violent Fugitive Task Force unit that located the wanted 37-year-old Pennsylvania man at the Econo Lodge Inn & Suites parking lot at 19540 Coastal Highway at around 7:47 p.m. Thursday, Delaware State Police said.

Shots were exchanged after contact, leaving the fugitive dead and Cpl. Webb injured, authorities said. A Delaware State Police trooper and Probation and Parole officer, also part of the task force, were uninjured, according to police.

The fugitive was pronounced dead at the scene, police said last week, and the officer was transported to an area hospital where he was listed in critical but stable condition.

On Monday morning, Milford police spokesman Sgt. Robert Masten said Cpl. Webb was “still hospitalized and beginning the recovery process.”

Later in the morning, a post on the TJW #5107 Strong Facebook page noted that the most recent update indicated “TJ is doing good they upgraded his status, in the good way, and he is starting to eat.”

Sgt. Masten also reported that Cpl. Webb’s health status was improving.
The Milford officer is a 13-year veteran of the department and assigned full time to the First State Violent Fugitive Task Force, DSP said.

The Facebook page was established Saturday “with the permission of the family of Senior Corporal Webb … to funnel all information in one location,” according to a post by creators Larry Thompson of Delaware Helping Warriors Outdoors and Susanne Whitney of A Walk In Their Shoes, a nonprofit organized to enhance the relationship between law enforcement and the community.

“We want to be sure that the concerned friends and public are receiving correct information and that any and all efforts to help TJ’s family are available to any and all through one central location,” the post continued.
“We want to avoid any unapproved fundraisers, GoFundMe pages etc. We will be setting up an account with the Delaware State Police Federal Credit Union to accept funds. In the meantime if you wish to make a monetary or other donation, please feel free to reach out to Larry or Susanne.

“We wish to thank everyone that has reached out thus far. All of those involved in this unfortunate situation greatly appreciate your support. Please keep up your good thoughts and prayers during TJ’s recovery. #TJW5107Strong.”

The page had nearly 1,300 followers just before noon Monday.

“There’s been a great show of support,” Mr. Thompson said.

On Saturday morning, a post reported that U.S. Pentagon Police Officer William Smith planned to fly an American flag over the Pentagon in honor of Cpl. Webb.

Mr. Thompson and Ms. Whitney issued a post Sunday that read: “We have been working behind the scenes to put together some stuff needed for the family. As it is early on in TJ’s recovery, a lot of it has just been establishing contacts to be ready when needed. We do however have our first big ask — we know there are many that love our law enforcement — and we want to show that love to TJ — we are asking for Challenge Coins — we have a project we are going to do with them.

“If we can get (coins from) as many departments and states as possible that would be great. If you have one or can get one — message us on this page and we can coordinate how to get it/them from you. As always we and the family greatly appreciate the great thoughts and the reaching out!! Keep it up!! #tjw5107strong.”

The fugitive, from Reading, had been wanted on an out-of-state arrest warrant for attempted criminal homicide, DSP said. Police said a handgun was located at the scene.

The DSP trooper and Probation and Parole officer were both placed on administrative leave, as is standard policy.

On Monday, Delaware Department of Justice spokesman Mat Marshal said, in an email, “In these scenarios, the DOJ investigates everything from whether chargeable crimes were committed to our standard police use of force investigation (which, as you know, occurs every time the police fire on someone).

“With that said, we defer to Delaware State Police on any further details.”

An attempt to reach Delaware State Police for a case update Monday was not successful.

Of the task force in general, DSP spokesman Sgt. Darren Lester said it “is comprised of members of law enforcement agencies within Delaware and is run by the U.S. Marshals Service, not DSP.

“DSP does have a full-time member of this unit. Some agencies within Delaware commit a full-time member to various respective task forces, while others will allow their officers to work on a part-time, as-needed basis.”