Suicide threat: Man fatally shot by trooper after pointing handgun at officers

LEWES – A suicide threat turned fatal Friday night as a 46-year-old man was shot by a Delaware state trooper when the subject pointed a handgun at state police and Lewes police officers.

The incident occurred around 8:22 p.m. Nov. 29 at a residence in the 300 block of East Savannah Road. Troopers responded to assist the Lewes Police Department with a report of a subject armed with a handgun threatening suicide, state police spokesman Master Cpl. Michael Austin said.

Authorities established communication with the suspect, who twice during dialogue placed the weapon on the ground, Cpl. Austin said.

The suspect then picked up the weapon and refused to comply with multiple verbal commands not to do so, said Cpl. Austin. When the subject pointed the weapon at state police and Lewes police officers, a trooper discharged his divisional issued patrol rifle, striking the suspect in the upper torso, Cpl. Austin said.

Emergency medical care was immediately initiated by officers on scene. The subject was subsequently transported to Beebe Hospital where he was pronounced deceased, said Cpl. Austin.

Identification is pending the notification of next of kin, Cpl. Austin said.

The state trooper involved in the shooting is assigned to Troop 7 in Lewes and has been employed with Delaware State Police for five years. Per divisional policy, the trooper has been placed on administrative leave, Cpl. Austin said.

Investigation is active and ongoing.

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