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Slain Delaware state trooper remembered in First State

Delaware Public Media

Delawareans up and down the state are mourning the death of Delaware State Police Cpl. Stephen Ballard.

The impact of the shooting death of Cpl. Ballard on law enforcement was evident when State Police superintendent Col. Nathaniel McQueen spoke about the trooper’s 8½  years of service Thursday.

This is a tragic time for Delaware State Police and for the state of Delaware.  Stephen’s actions [Wednesday] exemplified the dedication that he brought to the citizens of Delaware on a daily basis," said McQueen, choking back tears at a Thursday press conference.

Credit Delaware Public Media
Delaware Public Media
People contribute to a makeshift memorial for Cpl. Stephen Ballard at the Wawa where he was shot Wednesday.

Gov. John Carney has ordered all flags statewide to fly at half-mast until further notice to remember the 32-year-old Ballard who leaves behind a wife and a daughter.

"I stand before you with an aching heart.  A heart that breaks for Cpl. Ballard, his wife, his daughter, his family. A heart that aches for the Delaware State Police who served with him.  A heart that aches for law enforcement officers across the state," said Carney. "This is a time to mourn.  A time to mourn and lift up one of our own.  And we will do that.  I know that Delawareans across our state- we saw it yesterday – are standing with us."

Ballard was also a 2007 graduate of Delaware State University.

He is just the 24th Delaware State Trooper killed in the line of duty in the department's 94-year history, and the first since Corporal Christopher Shea was struck by a drunk driver in 2004.  Ballard is the fourth to be killed by gunfire, and the first since 1972.

Delaware State Police has set up a memorial fund at the Delaware State Police Federal Credit Union in the name of Corporal Ballard. All proceeds will be given to his family. Checks can be made out to the DSTA- Stephen Ballard Memorial Fund, PO Box 168, Cheswold DE 19936.

They emphasized this fund is the only official memorial fund dedicated to Ballard.