Employees were seen running from the building as police arrived to investigate a report of a shooting at the facility that left two people dead and elderly residents and employees who had to experience the ordeal distraught.
WILMINGTON (DE): It was around 1:15 PM Saturday, as temperatures neared an index of 100 degrees, when New Castle County Emergency Communications Center began receiving calls of shots fired at the Manor Care Nursing Home located at 700 N. Foulk Rd in Wilmington.
Multiple law enforcement agencies began arriving at the scene in droves. Dozens of Delaware State Police responded, along with New Castle County police, Wilmington police, and EMS personnel. Emergency vehicles swarmed the facility parking lots and lined up in front of the facility on Foulk Road, as employees were seen running from the facility. Traffic jammed both sides of Foulk Road until DELDOT was called in to shut the road down.
Moments later, heavily armed police in tactical gear, helmets, and armed with assault rifles prepared to enter the building. As they cleared the building, what they found on the lower level Dementia wing is something you wouldn’t expect to see in a nursing home.
As they made their way towards the lower level to clear it, they discovered two bodies. Nearby was a handgun.
According to Delaware State police, “An 82-year-old male and a 79-year-old female were both pronounced deceased at the scene from apparent gunshot wounds. The female was a resident of Manor Care. A handgun has been recovered from the scene. The individuals have been turned over to the Delaware Division of Forensic Science where an autopsy will be performed to determine the manner and cause of death. The victims’ identities are being withheld pending the notification of the next of kin.”
Delaware State Police declared the facility safe shortly after 2:00 PM. and said, “The facility has been rendered safe and there is no concerns for public safety at this time.” Police say they are not looking for any suspects.
Elderly residents were moved to another building on the grounds for shelter by wheelchairs as police began their investigation.
Later in the evening, Delaware Newsline spoke to Julie Beckert who is Manor Care’s vice president of marketing and communications and she said that their staff is reaching out to the families of their patients and that the facility is accepting visitors. However, many family members we spoke to were frustrated and upset, they said that they still haven’t been given any updates or received any phone calls from Manor Care on the well being of their family members in the facility.
“We’re very saddened about this and our hearts really go out to the residents’ family,” Beckert said. “We’re really going to focus on our staff and our patients right now, make sure that everybody is okay and working through it.”
Foulk Road, which closed for about three hours as police responded, slowly began to reopen around 4 p.m.
The incident continues to remain under investigation by the Delaware State Police Homicide Unit. If anyone has information regarding this incident, they are asked to please contact Detective D. Grassi at 302-741-2731. Information may also be provided by calling Delaware crime stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333 or via the internet at http://www.delaware.crimestoppersweb.com