Delaware State Police are conducting a Dewey Beach Police Officer-involved shooting, which resulted in the death of a 21-year-old Milford man, police said Saturday.
Officials said at the request of the Dewey Beach Police Department, this active and ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Delaware State Police Homicide Unit and Delaware Department of Justice, Division of Civil Rights and Public Trust.
On March 19, 2022, at approximately 1:17 a.m., officers with the Dewey Beach Police Department were notified by employees of the Starboard Restaurant located at 2009 Coastal Hwy of a male patron exiting the establishment with a gun. Officers attempted to contact the individual on the sidewalk out front of the business, but he fled on foot southbound on Coastal Hwy. Officers gave chase for approximately three blocks but lost sight of him. A search was conducted in the area by officers, but they were unsuccessful in locating the subject.
At approximately 2:23 a.m., the Dewey Beach Police Department 9-1-1 Center received a call from an employee of Starboard advising the suspect had returned to the business and was located by staff inside a restricted employee-only area. Two Dewey Beach Police Officers responded and located the male who was now inside the outdoor tent area of the business. When officers attempted to contact the male, he fled from the business northbound on Coastal Hwy before running westbound on Saulsbury Street and into a nearby alleyway. At that time, the pursuing officers located the male, and a single gunshot was fired by a 1.5-year veteran officer with the Dewey Beach Police Department using the departmental issued firearm. The details surrounding the shooting incident are still in the early stages of the investigation police said.
After the male was shot, he fled the area on foot. Responding officers located the male unconscious behind a commercial building in the 2100 block of Coastal Hwy with a single gunshot wound to the upper torso. Also located at the scene was a handgun.
Upon officers locating the unconscious male, they immediately began performing life-saving measures and called for EMS to respond. He was transported by ambulance to Beebe Hospital, where he was pronounced deceased. The Division of Forensic Science will be conducting an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death.
The Dewey Beach Police Officers involved in this incident were not injured. The officer involved in the shooting is currently placed on standard administrative leave with pay and benefits pending the outcome of this investigation.
The victim was later identified as a 21-year-old male from Milford, DE. Additional information regarding the victim will be provided once proper notification has been made to his family.