Suspect dead after 2 shot at Delaware veterans cemetery

Authorities say a suspect in the shooting of two people at a veterans cemetery in Delaware has been found dead after exchanging gunfire with police

BEAR, Del. -- A suspect in the shooting of two people at a veterans cemetery in Delaware was found dead after exchanging gunfire with police, authorities said Friday.

It was not immediately clear whether the suspect was killed by police, although authorities said the body was found in a wooded area where the shootout took place.

Troopers were dispatched to Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery in New Castle County on Friday morning and found a man and a woman with gunshot wounds, police said. Authorities did not immediately release details about the initial shooting, including the ages of the victims or their conditions.

After a shootout with officers, the suspect fled into nearby woods, said Senior Corporal Heather Pepper, a state police spokeswoman.

Authorities used a reverse 911 system to warn area residents that there was an active shooter and that they should shelter in place. Some of the residents were evacuated as officers hunted for the suspect.

Kelly Persons, who was sheltering inside her home with her husband and 16-month-old daughter, said she heard a series of three rounds of gunfire around noon, lasting over a span of about 15 minutes.

“There was quite a few gunshots each time,” Persons told The Associated Press in a phone call as helicopters flew over her neighborhood.

Persons said that after hearing the gunshots, she saw a police SWAT vehicle pulling into the yard of a neighbor’s house adjacent to a heavily wooded area that extends south to the cemetery property.

“It was scary, that’s for sure,” said Persons, 36. “When we heard it we peeked out the window and that’s when we saw the SWAT vehicle.”

The state-owned cemetery is overseen by the Office of Veterans Services, a division of the Delaware Department of State.