Delaware Police Officer Dies Days After Being Attacked While Responding to Fight

Cpl. Keith Heacook, 54, was declared "clinically dead" Wednesday at 12:48 p.m. at a Baltimore hospital, Delmar Police Chief Ivan Barkley said.

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

A Delaware police officer has died days after he was attacked while responding to a fight.

Cpl. Keith Heacook, 54, was declared "clinically dead" Wednesday at 12:48 p.m. at a Baltimore hospital, Delmar Police Chief Ivan Barkley said.

Keith Heacook

Heacook remains on life support for organ donation purposes.

On Sunday, shortly after 5 a.m., Heacook responded to the 1100 block of Buckingham Drive in the Yorkshire Estates Community in Delmar, Delaware, for a report of a fight in progress.

A 911 caller reported a man, later identified as Randon Wilkerson, 30, was being disorderly, fighting with other residents inside the house and destroying items inside the home. Moments later, a separate 911 call was made by a neighbor of the original caller across the street claiming he and his wife had been attacked by a man who was no longer in the house.

When Heacook arrived at the home, he was confronted by Wilkerson, investigators said.

The dispatcher on the line with Heacook tried checking on him but received no response. Additional officers, including a state trooper and a Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office deputy, were dispatched and found Heacook unconscious inside the home, according to officials.

They rendered first aid, and Heacook was rushed to TidalHealth in Salisbury before being transferred to R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore with “significant” head injuries.

As police investigated, they found an elderly couple who had also been assaulted across the street. Investigators said their attack was related to the first, and the couple was rushed to area hospitals, with one also transferred to R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center.

Wilkerson allegedly knocked on the back door of the couple's home and was met by the 73-year-old male victim. Wilkerson then attacked the man, striking him numerous times with a glass object, investigators said. Wilkerson then repeatedly attacked a 76-year-old woman with the same object before fleeing the house, according to officials.

Both victims suffered significant injuries and were taken to area hospitals. The elderly woman was later taken to Shock Trauma in Baltimore.

Police said they spotted Wilkerson walking on the back of the property where the first 911 call was made. He was taken into custody without incident and charged with attempted murder, assault, possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a felony, burglary, assault and terroristic threatening.

Heacook was a 22-year veteran with the Delmar Police Department. He is survived by a wife and son.

"These are the worst moments any of us can imagine: mourning the loss of a member of our law enforcement family," Delaware Department of Justice Attorney General Kathy Jennings wrote in a released statement. "Cpl. Heacook served his Department and his community honorably and faithfully for more than two decades -- a family man, a public servant, and a protector of his community until his final days."

Randon Wilkerson

Wilkerson was arraigned and committed to Sussex Correctional Institution on $451,000 cash bond.

Wilkerson's charges will be upgraded to include murder, according to Jennings.

"He will be held accountable for his heinous crimes against Cpl. Heacook, against the elderly couple he viciously assaulted, and against Delmar and our state," Jennings wrote. "The DOJ has been working together with Delmar and Delaware State Police, and all are doing everything in our power to ensure a successful prosecution."

Contact Us