Officials: Cemetery Killer Killed By Return Fire After Shooting At Troopers

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Bear- On Friday, May 8, 2020, at approximately 10:13 a.m., the Delaware State Police responded to the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery located at 2465 Chesapeake City Rd., in Bear, for reports of shots fired. The investigation determined 29-year-old Sheldon C. Francis of Middletown was responsible for the shooting deaths of 86 year old Paul C. Marino and his wife, 85-year-old Lidia Marino, of Elkton, MD.

At approximately 11:08 a.m., officers on scene observed Francis running into a wooded area, between the cemetery and Brennan Blvd., in the development of Brennan Estates. Officers immediately secured the area where the subject was observed.

At approximately 12:08 p.m., Troopers on the Delaware State Police Special Operations Response Team (SORT) responded to the wooded area where Francis was located in the Delaware State Police BearCat Armored Vehicle. Upon arriving to the location, the BearCat began immediately taking on a significant amount of gunshot rounds from Francis, resulting in an exchange of gunfire taking place between members of SORT and Francis. During the exchange of gunfire, Francis sustained a gunshot wound by the Delaware State Police, which resulted in his death. Francis was pronounced deceased at the scene.

As this investigation remains ongoing, there has been no motive determined at this time or evidence indicating Francis had any connection to the Marino’s.

The Delaware State Police said they would also like to thank the community for their support and understanding during this critical incident.

Update

Bear- The Delaware State Police are releasing the names of the victims that were shot on the grounds of the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery located at 2465 Chesapeake City Rd., in Bear, at approximately 10:13 a.m., Friday, May 8, 2020.

The 86 year old male victim has been identified as Paul C. Marino of Elkton, MD, who was initially admitted to an area hospital in critical condition. On Saturday, May 9, 2020, Mr. Marino succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased at the hospital. His wife, 85-year old Lidia Marino, of Elkton, MD, was pronounced deceased on scene at the time of the original incident.

Original Story

Bear – The Delaware State Police have confirmed that an 85-year-old female and 86-year-old male, husband and wife from Elkton, Maryland were the victims of a shooting that took place on Friday morning, May 8, 2020, on the grounds of the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery, located at 2465 Chesapeake City Road.

At approximately 10:13, Troopers were dispatched to the cemetery for a report of shots being fired. The first arriving officers on scene located the victims and confirmed that they both had sustained gunshot wounds. The female victim was pronounced at the scene, the male was transported to an area hospital in critical condition. Initial reports from the scene also advised that a subject was seen running into an adjacent wooded area immediately after the gunshots were heard.

At approximately 11:08 a.m., officers on scene observed a male subject running into a wooded area, between the cemetery and Brennan Blvd., in the development of Brennan Estates. Officers immediately secured the area where the subject was observed.

At approximately 12:08 p.m., an exchange of gunfire took place between officers on scene and the suspect in the wooded area. During this exchange, no law enforcement officers were injured.

At approximately 4:00 p.m., officers made entry into the wooded area where they located the suspect who was confirmed to be deceased. They also observed that the suspect, a 29-year-old Middletown man, had sustained an apparent gunshot wound. It is undetermined at this time if the gunshot wound was self-inflicted or as a result of the earlier exchange of gunfire.

The Delaware Division of Forensic Science will perform autopsies to determine the cause and manner of the deaths.

During the course of the incident, officials advised area residents to shelter in place via a reverse 911 call. Some residents who were in closer proximity to the incident were temporarily evacuated. Multiple area roadways were also closed during the operation.

Upon locating the suspect the area was deemed secure at which time the evacuees were able to return home and roadways were re-opened. Based on the nature of the incident a large police presence remained in the area as part of the ongoing investigation.

While the Delaware State Police is the primary investigating agency, during today’s operation they received assistance from multiple allied agencies from the federal, state and local levels, who provided manpower and resources, to include the ATF, FBI, U.S. Marshals, DNREC, New Castle County P.D., Wilmington P.D., Dover P.D., Newark P.D., N.C.C. EMS and DELDOT. Athorities from Maryland also responded to help cordon off the area

The investigation is active and ongoing and will be furthered by the Delaware State Police Homicide Unit. Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to contact Det. M. Ryde by calling 302-698-8557.


Breaking Report

Bear – Just before 10:30 Friday morning, 911 call takers began receiving reports of a shooting at the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery AT 2465 Chesapeake City Road.

As Troopers began responding to the scene they were receiving reports that a suspect had shot two people with a rifle and fled into the wood line near Brennen Estates.

As the Troopers and County officers began to flood the area, Maryland authorities were contacted to seal off the western side of the perimeter close to the state line.

First to arrive at the cemetery were a female Trooper and a DNREC officer. Not knowing where the suspect was, the Trooper made her way to the shooting victims and reported that two people were down, both shot. She reported that one had already succumbed to their wounds and requested that an ambulance, which was staged near the scene, to respond to the scene. One patient was transported to the hospital in critical condition.

As they scoured the area for the suspect, believed to be in the woods, police officers began reporting that the suspect was in the woods about 40 yards from Route 896. Several officers had to take shelter behind the Jersey Barrier on Route 896 after the suspect reportedly opened fire on them. The suspect, described as a heavyset black male about 6ft tall carrying a rifle with a scope on it, has yet to be captured.

As of 2:00 Friday afternoon, authorities are still searching for the suspect in the woods. He has been spotted several times and several volleys of gunfire could be heard coming from the area.

Three Delaware State Police helicopters and a Wilmington Police drone have been deployed to search for the suspect from the air.

Several residents in the area were been evacuated from their homes and taken to the secure facility not far from the scene.

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First State Update's Delaware editorial team covers New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County breaking news, political news, and general news stories. We bring the reader the latest news from the Wilmington, Newark, Dover, Rehoboth Beach and all point in between. If you have news to share, email us at desk@firststateupdate.com.

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