----- Original Message -----
From: Boone Andrea (DSP)
Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 9:53 PM
Subject: UPDATED DSP News Release-Domestic Dispute Results in Trooper Shooting Suspect 080209
DELAWARE STATE POLICE
Superintendent Colonel Robert M. Coupe
Presented by Public Information Officer Cpl/2 Andrea Boone
UPDATED DSP News Release: Domestic Dispute Results in Trooper Shooting Suspect
Locations: (#1) Sand Hill Mobile Home Park, Georgetown, Delaware
(#2) Retz Lane, Lewes, Delaware
Date of Occurrence: Sunday, August 02, 2009 at approximately 3:21 p.m.
Suspect(s): David C. Bethard Jr., 34 of Millsboro, Delaware
Resume: Shortly before 3:30 this afternoon, Troop 4 patrol troopers were dispatched to the Sand Hill Mobile Home Park for the report of a domestic dispute involving the above suspect and his wife (victim).
An investigation at the scene revealed that approximately ten minutes prior to the troopers’ arrival, the suspect had been engaged in a verbal dispute with the victim in the presence of the victim’s 19-year old daughter. The suspect reportedly ordered the victim to leave the residence with him, but the victim refused. The suspect then retrieved two large kitchen knives from the kitchen, and demanded the victim leave the residence with him.
The suspect threatened bodily harm to the victim and her daughter and stated if the police came, he would cause the police to shoot him and they would have to watch him die.
The victim’s daughter exited the residence to make a phone call. Moments later, the suspect exited the residence with the victim at his side. The suspect and victim entered his vehicle, a red Ford Escort, and the suspect drove away.
The victim was able to call her daughter from her cellular phone and provide details of the direction in which they were traveling.
The victim’s daughter could hear the suspect yelling at the victim moments before the victim’s phone went dead.
Troopers were alerted with a description of the vehicle and a direction of travel. Troopers converged on the area.
Several calls came in to 911 from concerned citizens who observed a struggle between a male and female in a vehicle matching the suspect’s vehicle in the area of Five Points.
The last call, at approximately 4:14 p.m., reported a male subject assaulting a female just outside of a vehicle on Retz Lane (off of Route 24) west of Lewes.
A twenty-nine year DSP veteran responded to the area and observed a struggle between the suspect and the victim. This Trooper gave verbal commands to the suspect in an attempt to peacefully take him into custody.
The suspect ignored the commands and made menacing movements towards this trooper at which time the trooper discharged his weapon, striking the suspect once.
Assisting troopers took the suspect into custody and provided first aid to the suspect until an ambulance arrived and transported the suspect to Beebe Medical Center. The suspect remains in stable condition at Beebe Medical Center.
An investigator from the Attorney General’s office responded to conduct an investigation of the shooting, in addition to the DSP investigation.
The trooper is uninjured and on administrative duty.
The 38-year old victim was uninjured.
This investigation is ongoing and an updated release will be forthcoming when additional details are available.
Charges are pending.