Corporal Stephen Jamelle Ballard

Corporal Stephen Jamelle Ballard

Delaware State Police, Delaware

End of Watch Wednesday, April 26, 2017

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Stephen Jamelle Ballard

Corporal Stephen Ballard was shot and killed while investigating a suspicious vehicle at a gas station on Pulaski Highway, near Salem Church Road, in Bear, Delaware.

He made contact with two people he observed in the vehicle, at which point one of the men began struggling with him. The man pushed Corporal Ballard away from him and began to run. After taking several steps he turned around and opened fire on Corporal Ballard, wounding him. The man then chased Corporal Ballard as he sought cover behind a vehicle. The man shot him numerous times, including several times after Corporal Ballard fell to the ground.

Responding officers apprehended one of the subjects at the scene. The second subject fled to his home where he barricaded himself inside. After a long standoff, the subject exited his home and opened fire on officers, who returned fire killing him.

Corporal Ballard had served with the Delaware State Police for 8-1/2 years and was assigned to Troop 2, Glasgow. He is survived by his wife, daughter, and parents.


  • Age 32
  • Tour 8 years, 6 months
  • Badge 1305

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Shot and killed

suspicious vehicle

Most Recent Reflection

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'It'll allow people to know about him': Street renamed to honor slain trooper
Posted on Jan. 9, 2020 Delaware News Journal

Delaware State Police Cpl. Stephen Ballard loved Halloween.

It was fitting, then, that on Oct. 31, officials voted to rename the road leading to Troop 2 in Glasgow from LaGrange Avenue to Cpl/1 Stephen J. Ballard Way.

"I chuckled when I (heard) that," Ballard's widow, Louise Cummings, told a packed room inside Troop 2 on Thursday at a ceremony to dedicate the road to the slain officer.

Cummings again chuckled when she realized the dedication ceremony was held on Jan. 9, which is National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.

"It's such a happy and sad day, at the same time," Cummings said. "I'm inspired to have his name on the street sign hanging over Route 40, where all the tragedy happened.

Ballard, who served with Delaware State Police for about eight years, was gunned down at the Pulaski Highway (U.S. 40) Wawa in Bear on April 26, 2017, when he stopped to check on a suspicious vehicle.

The car's passenger, Burgon Sealy Jr., jumped out and began firing at Ballard, who tried to run for cover.

Sealy Jr. continued to fire rounds into the trooper before fleeing to his family’s Middletown-area home, where, following a standoff, he was shot dead by police 21 hours later.

Though the tragedy shook the state, Cummings said good came out of it, too.

Her husband's death inspired her to establish a fund that each year offers a grant to local nonprofits focused on issues such as children in need, education and domestic violence.

She also established Ballard's Reading Buddies, a program in which community members — including law enforcement officers — go into local schools and read to children.

It's an important program, Cummings said Thursday.

"These children now see a good connection (between law enforcement) and the community," she said. "They see police officers and they don't get afraid or say, 'They're here because something bad is happening.'

"They're looking at (the officers) as friends, they're looking at them as someone who is helping them learn how to read, learn how to love, and who is taking time out of their day to be with them."

Two years after state trooper's slaying, his wife encourages love and charitable giving

That's what Ballard would have wanted, Cummings said. It's also what she hopes people remember when they see the new Ballard Way sign.

Retired Police Officer

January 9, 2020

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