Update: Man Who Shot At Trooper Charged

DoverDelaware State Police are investigating a shooting incident that occurred at Alder Park Apartments in which gunfire was exchanged between a responding trooper and a suspect.

Police say that the initial investigation has determined that the incident occurred at approximately 8:20 p.m., Sunday July 24, 2016, when troopers were dispatched to area of “G” building, located at 51 Webbs Lane, for a report of a subject with a gun. Upon the trooper’s arrival, a male subject matching the description given by the caller was located in between “G” and “H” buildings standing with another male individual.  When the trooper attempted to make contact with the two, both subjects began to run away.  The trooper gave chase around the rear of “G” building when the two men split up and the trooper continued to follow the subject matching the description with the gun. Officials say that individual then turned and fired a round from a handgun at the trooper which resulted in the trooper firing back.  After a lengthy foot pursuit, the suspect, who was later identified as Aaron T. Purnell, 30 of Harrington (original release stated Milford), was apprehended by the trooper and taken into custody without further incident and was uninjured.  A loaded 9mm handgun was located where Purnell was taken into custody.

Aaron Purnell was transported back to Troop 3 where he was charged with three counts of Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony, Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited, Aggravated Menacing, Reckless Endangering 1st, and Resisting Arrest with Force.  He was arraigned at JP7 and committed to James T. Vaughn Correctional Center on $96,000.00 cash bond.

The 38-year-old trooper involved in this incident has been employed by the Delaware State Police for 14 years and is assigned to Troop 3 patrol in Camden, DE. He has been placed on administrative leave as per Divisional Policy pending the outcome of the investigation.  The trooper involved in this incident was not injured.

Detectives from the Delaware State Police Homicide Unit responded to the scene and are conducting the investigation. This is an active and ongoing investigation with detectives continuing their investigation by conducting interviews and collecting evidence to determine the circumstances surrounding this incident.

Image Credits: Delaware State Police

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