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Dover Police Officer Involved Shooting 12-21-2014

On Sunday, December 21, 2014 at 12:03AM, two officers from the Dover Police Department were involved in an officer-involved shooting. The incident began at 10:38PM, when dispatchers from the Dover Police Department received a call from a Crisis Center indicating that James Long, 52 years old, was having suicidal thoughts and had vocalized a plan to commit “suicide by cop.” Long has been the subject of previous incidents with the Dover Police Department, including one occasion where similar threats were made.

Officers were dispatched to Long’s apartment in the Country Club Apartment complex located at 50 Greenway Square (M Building), Dover, Delaware at 10:42PM. Officer’s first arrived on scene at 10:46PM. At 12:03AM, Officers made entry to Long’s apartment after failing to gain Long’s cooperation. Upon entry, Long displayed what was believed to be a firearm and pointed it at the officers, causing them to fire their department issued firearms, twice striking Long . Officer’s immediately began to render first-aid until Emergency Medical Services arrived a short time later.

James Long was transported to the Bayhealth Kent General Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead as a result of his injuries. It was discovered after the shooting that the weapon Long displayed, was a pellet/BB gun, that resembled a Colt semi-automatic handgun. A photo of the weapon that Long displayed is included with this release. It was also discovered that James Long had booby-trapped his apartment with an improvised device designed to mix dangerous chemicals that would have created a toxic gas, in an effort to cause injury or death to police officers.

As a result of the incident, neighboring residents were evacuated prior to officers making entry into Long’s apartment for approximately 45 minutes-1 hour, and were allowed to return to their residences once the situation was deemed safe by investigators on scene. The officers involved in the shooting are a Corporal who is a 10-year-veteran, and a Patrolman 1st Class who is a 6-year veteran, respectively. Both officers have been placed on administrative leave with pay in accordance with standard department policy, until an internal investigation in conjunction with an investigation by the State of Delaware Attorney General’s Office has been completed.

Photo of the pellet gun used by James Long
Photo of the pellet gun used by James Long

At this time, the Dover Police Department has no further details to be released. All media inquiries should be made with the Public Information Officer, Cpl. Mark Hoffman.

Cpl. Mark Hoffman
Public Information Officer
Office: 302-736-7130
Cell: 302-222-5969
Email: mark.hoffman@cj.state.de.us