New Castle County Police release body camera footage from the shootout

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New Castle County police released body camera footage from the night a man shot his girlfriend and another man, then killed himself, but not before exchanging gunfire with police.

The 40-second clip, released Friday afternoon, depicts the moment the 34-year-old suspect, who has not yet been publicly identified, opened fire through a basement window at police. The department said an officer fired and hit the man in the arm.

While the investigation into the incident is still ongoing, county police said the video is intended to provide residents with a “better understanding of what happened.” In recent years, the agency has released body camera footage of at least one other officer shooting to give the public a glimpse of what happens in those tense moments.

The ministry said Friday’s intention was the same.

What happened?

New Castle County police were called to the home in the first block of Leader Drive in the Ogletown development in Newark Oaks around 12:40 a.m. Sept. 21 after another 34-year-old man called 911 to say he and his girlfriend had been in the accident. shot.

According to police, the suspect arrived at the home and confronted the woman and the other man. The caller told dispatchers he was upstairs in the house and his girlfriend was downstairs.

When police arrived, they surrounded the house and attempted to contact the victim. While outside, a department veteran looked out a first-floor window and “observed the suspect armed with a firearm,” the department said.

The agency added, “The suspect then fired a bullet through the window toward the officers.”

Initial story: Two bodies were found dead inside the Ogletown home where the man was barricaded, and the third shooting victim is “stable.”

In the video, the officer can be heard saying, “Turn that off, I’m coming closer,” referring to the light on another officer’s gun. The officer agrees and the man approaches the window.

About 24 seconds into the clip, a small pop can be heard and the officer, now positioned next to the window with a ballistic shield, can be seen stepping back. After about a second and a half, he began firing, firing at least five times as he retreated.

Once away from the window, the officer told another officer next to him that the suspect “just shot through this front door,” meaning the front window.

“I’ve been shot,” he says again, before adding: “I’m fine.”

A SWAT team later entered the home and found the 31-year-old woman dead. Police said the suspect shot himself.

The friend was taken to the hospital to receive treatment for his injuries. He is recovering.

Post the video proactively

Although New Castle County Police took the unusual step of releasing the video before the investigation was completed, it would have been released anyway. However, it is not clear exactly when.

Until mid-last summer, the Delaware Department of Justice typically did not release body camera footage of police shootings except when it published its use-of-force reports, which consider whether an officer was justified in his or her actions. .

Although there are some exceptions — several agencies, including county police, released video prior to the Justice Department reports — they are rare.

However, in late June, the Delaware General Assembly voted to change what was formerly known as the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights, which largely barred the public from accessing investigations into policing.

The bills, signed into law in August, culminated a years-long effort to make sweeping changes to police accountability and transparency statewide.

libor, change: Lawmakers have tried for years to increase Delaware police transparency. It’s finally done

Under the new rules, agencies must publish a “detailed account” of investigations into the discharge of a department-issued firearm, even if the person was not struck by bullets. It is unclear whether the narrative, which must be published within 30 days of the investigation’s completion, must include photo or video evidence.

While it remains to be seen what exactly a “detailed narrative” will require — the Sept. 21 incident was only the second time police have shot a person since changes to the law — New Castle County Police said their goal was to provide transparency about what happened in that Tonight.

“We hope this recording enhances your understanding of the incident,” a press release said. “These video images are only one piece of evidence that should be taken into account when reconstructing and evaluating the totality of the circumstances.”

Got a tip? Email Isabel Hughes at or 302-324-2785. For all the breaking news, follow her on Twitter at @izzihuhes_

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