Sadly on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 one of our own state troopers, Cpl. Stephen Ballard, also known as Steve, was killed on duty. According to 6abc News, “Cpl. Stephen Ballard, 32, was shot in the parking lot of a Wawa at 1605 Pulaski Highway in Bear, Del. around 12 p.m. Wednesday.”
The man who shot Cpl. Ballard was Burgon Sealy Jr., 26, of Middletown. After Cpl. Ballard was shot, Sealy drove away to barricade himself in his Middletown home. Delaware Online reports, “Police attempted to evacuate all residents from their Brick Mill Farm homes when Sealy returned to his family’s two-story house early Wednesday afternoon – shortly after fatally shooting.” Sealy barricaded himself for approximately 21 hours in his Middletown home.
While Sealy was barricaded, there were many girls in Brick Mill Farms Development that were supposed to be getting ready for their senior prom. According to Delaware Online, “But instead of readying for their upcoming St. Georges Technical High School prom, the 18-year-olds spent the night listening to gunfire, helicopters and bullhorns from police trying to coax Burgon Sealy Jr. out of his family’s Middletown house on St. Michaels Drive.” Around 9:15 Thursday morning, Sealy was killed by police when he walked out of his home.
While Sealy faced his consequences, a fellow officer remembers Cpl. Ballard’s service and everything he has done. “He was a good person/officer,” says Officer James Piazza. Cpl. Ballard always put everyone else before himself, including the people he served when he was in all three counties. According to Delaware Online, “Those who knew Cpl. Stephen Ballard, will forever remember his smile and the way it made them feel.”
Officer Piazza also stated that, “During the first 3 to 4 weeks of his training it was really hard for Steve because of all the focus being on him because not being so good at the physical training, and all the officers that were training us were telling him he should quit because he wouldn’t make it through. But he never gave up.” Cpl. Ballard always went through with everything.
Officer Piazza stated, “When I heard it was Steve my heart dropped. We had special bond and always had each other’s back. He was like a brother to me.” Even though this sad story took place in Bear, it still hit pretty close to Dover and Central Middle School because of Officer Piazza knowing Cpl. Ballard and his service in all three counties.
Horn, Brittany, Xerxes Wilson, Esteban Parra, and Karl Baker. “Delaware Trooper Killed at Bear Wawa.” Delawareonline. The News Journal, 26 Apr. 2017. Web. 10 May 2017.
Parra, Esteban, and Brittany Horn. “A Harrowing Night in Middletown-area Neighborhood.” Delawareonline. The News Journal, 27 Apr. 2017. Web. 10 May 2017.
Parra, Esteban, and Brittany Horn. “Standoff Ends in Middletown; Suspect in Delaware Trooper Death Killed.” Delawareonline. The News Journal, 27 Apr. 2017. Web. 10 May 2017.
Piazza, James. Personal Interview. 12 May 2017.
Reyes, Jessica Masulli. “Trooper’s Friends Say Delaware Lost a Bright Light.” Delawareonline. The News Journal, 27 Apr. 2017. Web. 10 May 2017.
Wpvi. “Suspect in Murder of Del. Trooper Killed by Police.” 6abc Philadelphia. 6abc Action News, 27 Apr. 2017. Web. 08 May 2017.