Delaware Public Media

New Castle County police officer shoots Claymont man

Aug 31, 2020

A New Castle County police officer shot a civilian in Claymont Sunday. 

County police spokesperson Grigori Lopez-Garcia said in a statement the shooting happened after New Castle County and state police responded to a reported domestic dispute in the Ashbourne Hills community around 6:20 p.m. 

There they found a 57-year-old white male who police say was brandishing a firearm. Police say the man “disregarded multiple commands to disarm himself and surrender to the officers” before one of the officers shot him. 

Neighbors told the News Journal they were directed to stay indoors while officers tried to communicate with the man. Then they heard two gunshots at around 9 p.m. 

Police said Monday the man was in “critical but stable” condition.

The officer who shot him has been placed on administrative leave, as per New Castle County Police Department policy. 

The Division of Civil Rights and Public Trust under the state Department of Justice and New Castle County police are investigating the incident. 

The state DOJ has determined that every police officer to shoot a civilian in Delaware since 2005 has been justified in doing so under state law.

Earlier this month, New Castle County Council unanimously passed an ordinance that requires officers to try to intervene when another uses excessive force, or face punishment as if they used excessive force themselves.