Police Officer Shooting First In 20 Years In Wilmington - New York News

Police Officer Shooting First In 20 Years In Wilmington

Posted: Updated:
Police tape surrounds the crime scene Saturday where a Wilmington police officer was shot. Police tape surrounds the crime scene Saturday where a Wilmington police officer was shot.
Wilmington, DE -

Police in Wilmington, Delaware, are searching for a third suspect involved in the near-fatal shooting of a city police officer.  Two other young men are in custody, after a Sunday afternoon traffic stop turned violent.

Thirty-four-year-old Justin Wilkers nearly gave his life doing his job.  The three-year police veteran now has a bullet lodged in the back of his skull, after a gunman shot him in the face.  Vernon Ross lives across the street from where the shooting occurred, in Wilmington's Southbridge neighborhood. Ross told Fox 29 he hear, "Pop pop pop, four real quick shots, it was four fast shots.  I jumped straight up."

The shooting happened just before 4 p.m.  Officer Wilkers and his partner spotted a suspicious vehicle at C and South Buttonwood Streets.  When they tried to pull the driver over a couple of blocks away, the car took off.  The chase ended on the 1200 block of Peach Street, when the three suspects in the car got out and ran.  "As one of the suspects exited the vehicle, he drew a handgun and fired at Officer Wilkers, who was attempting to exit the police vehicle," Cpl. Mark Ivey, a spokesman for the Wilmington Police Department, explained.

Police arrested two of the suspects shortly after the shooting:  the driver, 20-year-old Jared Wiggins, and his passenger, 21-year-old Ronald Boyce.  But they're still searching for the other passenger.  Police won't say which of the three shot Wilkers.  

This is the first time in 20 years a Wilmington police officer has been shot in the line of duty, and clearly it has rattled the department.  "The past 24 hours have been difficult and extremely painful," Cpl. Ivey said.  His boss, Police Chief Christine Dunning, made clear her disgust.  "This assault on our police officer Justin Wilkers is an affront, an insult and a total sign of disrespect of authority."

Wilkers is married with a daughter and a son, both under the age of five.  He's expected to undergo surgery and is facing a long road to recovery.  "We are very fortunate that we still have our brother officer with us today," Chief Dunning said.  "However, Justin Wilkers' condition, even thought it's been stabilized, he still has many challenges to face."

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • NJ brush fire forces evacuations

    NJ brush fire forces evacuations

    Thursday, April 24 2014 1:53 PM EDT2014-04-24 17:53:22 GMT
    A New Jersey school and several homes were evacuated Thursday afternoon because of a large brush fire that was being fanned by winds.Beachwood Intermediate South School was closed just after 12:30 p.m. Parents were told not to report to the school. The Ocean County Sheriff's Dept. said that all children were going to be safely evacuated to another location.
    A New Jersey school and several homes were evacuated Thursday afternoon because of a large brush fire that was being fanned by winds.Beachwood Intermediate South School was closed just after 12:30 p.m. Parents were told not to report to the school. The Ocean County Sheriff's Dept. said that all children were going to be safely evacuated to another location.
  • Cops swarm home after disgruntled Call of Duty gamer calls in swatting hoax

    Cops swarm home after disgruntled Call of Duty gamer calls in swatting hoax

    Thursday, April 24 2014 12:05 PM EDT2014-04-24 16:05:27 GMT
    Heavily armed police officers descended on a home in Long Beach, Long Island thinking they might find a grisly murder scene. Instead they found a terrified woman who had no clue what they were talking about and her teenaged son playing video games.
    Heavily armed police officers descended on a home in Long Beach, Long Island thinking they might find a grisly murder scene. Instead they found a terrified woman who had no clue what they were talking about and her teenaged son playing video games.
  • Girl fights to bring 22-year-old prom date

    Girl fights to bring 22-year-old prom date

    Thursday, April 24 2014 11:50 AM EDT2014-04-24 15:50:19 GMT
    A Connecticut teenager is appealing to her local Board of Education after school officials rejected her request to bring her 21-year-old boyfriend to her prom.
    A Connecticut teenager is appealing to her local Board of Education after school officials rejected her request to bring her 21-year-old boyfriend to her prom.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices