United States

Mourners Say Final Goodbye to Slain Trooper

Cpl. Stephen J. Ballard will be laid to rest more than a week after being gunned down at a Delaware Wawa

Delaware and the greater law enforcement community paused Friday to mourn Cpl. Stephen Ballard, who was gunned down in a Wawa parking lot.

The Delaware trooper killed in the line of duty is being remembered as a man who "loved helping people."

The 8-plus year veteran of Troop 2, Glasgow will be laid to rest Friday following a public viewing and memorial service at the Chase Center on the Riverfront along Justison Street in Wilmington, said Delaware State Police. (Click here for more funeral details.) [[420558063, C]]

Ballard was shot April 26 while investigating a suspicious vehicle at a convenience store in Bear. His killer, Burgon Sealy Jr., then barricaded himself in his family home near Middletown, firing shots at officers during a 20-hour standoff before he was shot and killed.

Ballard's mother Robin said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press ahead of the funeral that her son "loved helping people," "loved representing the state of Delaware" and "loved representing the Delaware state troopers." [[421453473, C]]

State police and DelDOT warned motorist to expect travel delays throughout Friday's ceremonies:

"The northbound lanes of I-95 between the Christiana Mall (Exit 4A) and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard (Exit 6) will be closed beginning at 6 a.m. and will be opened after the procession of emergency vehicles to travel to the Chase Center on the Riverfront; additionally a second closure of the northbound lanes between the Christiana Mall (Exit 4A) and the Martin Luther King Jr, Boulevard (Exit 6) will be closed beginning at 8 a.m. for the last procession of emergency vehicles to travel to the Chase Center on The Riverfront.

"Northbound I-95 traffic will be significantly impacted and will be utilizing alternate routes of DE 896, US 40, DE 273, and US 13; motorists can expect delays on these routes with the increased diverted volume of traffic.

"The funeral procession will then depart the Riverfront at approximately 12 p.m. and travel to the Gracelawn Cemetery located at 2220 North DuPont Highway, New Castle."

The processional will follow this route: 

Justison Street -- Martin Luther King Boulevard -- South Market Street -– North DuPont Highway -– Lovelace Avenue (U-turn) to Gracelawn Memorial Cemetery.

Some schools near the services closed Friday.

NBC10’s Tim Furlong live from the Delaware State Police barracks, where thousands of cars have come and gone to receive a sticker to commemorate slain State Trooper Stephen Ballardand show support to all law enforcement.

DART also warned of possible impacts to bus service and commuters are urged to use SEPTA's Wilmington/Newark Line.

Delaware State Police set up a memorial fund for Ballard at the Delaware State Police Federal Credit Union -- checks should be made out to DSTA-Stephen Ballard Memorial Fund, PO Box 168, Cheswold DE 19936.

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