Breaking: Wilmington Police Suspend Officer Involved In Lockdown That Closed Conrad

The Wilmington Police Department (WPD) has announced that it is suspending one of its officers without pay after an overnight lockdown near the Conrad School of Sciences.

Stephanie Castellani, Spokeswoman for WPD, said that the status of 48-year-old Master Corporal Michael Ballard,  a 14-year veteran with the Department, has been changed from Administrative Leave to Suspension-Without Pay, based on the charges filed today by New Castle County Police.

New Castle County Police said that on Thursday, November 15, at approximately 10:30 p.m., officers from the New Castle County Division of Police were dispatched to the 500 block of Essex Ave, in the community of Bellemoor, for a check on the welfare.

Upon arrival, officers learned that Ballard made statements that caused concern for his welfare and he barricaded himself within the residence, according to police.

Officers made contact with Ballard and confirmed that he was in the residence and may be in possession of a firearm.

At that point, a perimeter was set up where multiple intersections along Boxwood Avenue were shut down. At around 3:00 a.m a reverse 9-1-1 message was sent out to neighboring residences advising occupants to remain inside their home.

Shortly after 9:00 am this morning, Nov 16, Ballard surrendered peacefully to the officers and was taken to a local hospital for an evaluation.

During the examination of Ballard’s residence, evidence was discovered that a firearm had been discharged in the direction of neighboring houses, according to police.

Ballard has been charged with 2 counts of felony Reckless Endangering 1st, 2 counts of felony Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony and 2 counts of felony Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited.

Arraignment and bail information is not available at the time.

Michael Ballard


Update: Police have released few details regarding an incident that caused the closure of the Conrad School Of Science on Friday.

The incident, which began at around 10:30 last evening on Essex Drive in Bellmoor, ended about eleven hours later when a man walked out of a home and surrendered to SWAT officers.

Several neighbors reported that Delaware State Police SWAT Officers were in their homes during the incident keeping watch over the home in question.

New Castle County Detectives are on scene investigating the incident but have released little about the incident.

An officer was with metal detectors was in the front yard of the home investigating what appear to be bullet holes on the side of the home.

Neighbors reported that a similar incident occurred back in August at this same home.



Update: New Castle County Police say the police activity near the Conrad School Of Science has come to a peaceful conclusion. Neighbors reported that a man was brought out of the home in handcuffs just before County Police tweeted the following:

“As of 09:27 AM, the Police Activity off Boxwood road has come to a peaceful conclusion. The roads should be opening up shortly. We apologize to the public for any inconvenience and thank everyone for their cooperation.”

We’re still working to gather more information regarding the incident.


Breaking Report

New Castle County Police are currently on scene at a home in the 500 block of Essex Ave for what is believed to be an ongoing barricaded suspect incident.

Just after 3:00 this morning nearby residents received a 9-1-1 Robocall telling them that there is an active crime scene in the 500 block of Essex ave in Bellmoor and for them to shelter in place.

Neighbors in the area tell First State Update that they believe this is the same location where a barricaded suspect incident occurred a few months back, officials have not confirmed that.

State and County Police, along with New Castle County Paramedics are on scene.

New Castle County Police released the following statement on Twitter “Police Activity: Avoid the area of Boxwood Road. Boxwood at Main, Boxwood at Overland, Boxwood at Maryland Ave and Essex at Westmoreland are all closed. Conrad School of the Sciences has been closed for the day. Updates to follow…”

A message on the school’s website says “Because of an ongoing incident in New Castle County and Conrad’s use as a staging area for emergency personnel for this incident, school will be closed today- November 16, 2018.”

If you have photos or video of the incident you can message them to us via our Facebook page. Do not post on the page. We do not want to give away officer’s positions.

We are working to gather more information regarding the incident.


About Staff Writer

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 [email protected]

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