Gunfire Erupts in Pa. Standoff with Del. Woman after 2-State Chase

May 15, 2024
Police from multiple agencies were serving a warrant on a woman in Wilmington when she fled across state lines to Chester, leading to a tense hourlong standoff that ended with shots fired.

By Jesse Bunch

Source The Philadelphia Inquirer

A woman is dead after evading Delaware police and driving across state lines into Chester, where multiple law enforcement agencies engaged in a tense standoff Tuesday afternoon that closed a portion of I-95 and left vehicles wrecked in the street.

It remained unclear how the 23-year-old woman, who police said was from Wilmington, died; however, police from multiple agencies fired their weapons at multiple points during the chaotic pursuit.

The woman initially fled from Wilmington by car, ramming multiple police vehicles, after a multi-agency task force attempted to serve a warrant on her for her alleged role in a December 2023 shooting, according to Wilmington police.

The woman then fled up I-95 and across state lines into Chichester, where she crashed and "subsequently fired a gun at police," Wilmington police said.

"Two members of the Delaware State Police discharged their firearms during the exchange," the department said in a statement.

It was unclear whether those officers struck the woman, whose name was not released.

Continuing to flee, the woman stole an SUV and drove into Chester, wrecking the vehicle against a home at 12th and Kerlin Streets, according to Chester Police Commissioner Steven Gretsky.

Gretsky said that "following a home invasion," the woman entered a third vehicle, a sedan, and continued her flight.

But that vehicle crashed nearby, and an hour-long standoff ensued, with officers from multiple law-enforcement agencies training their weapons on the two wrecked vehicles.

At some point during the standoff, officers again discharged their weapons.

Three members of the Wilmington Police Department, five members of the Delaware State Police, one member of the Trainer Borough Police Department, and one member of the Chester Police Department fired shots, according to Wilmington Police.

Police did not confirm how the woman died.

"The suspect ultimately succumbed to her injuries," Wilmington police said.

Police removed the woman from the sedan about 1 p.m. Officers recovered a firearm at the scene. Local news outlets reported seeing a white sheet cast over the woman's body after she was removed from the vehicle.

"It's a sad story," Gretsky said.

An investigation is underway by the Delaware County District Attorney's office.

Meanwhile, two officers with the Wilmington Police Department who fired their weapons have been placed on administrative duty as the department's Criminal Investigations Division and Office of Professional Standards conduct their own inquiries.

All lanes along I-95 between Exits 4 and 6 were closed during the standoff, and were reopened about 1 p.m.

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(c)2024 The Philadelphia Inquirer

Visit The Philadelphia Inquirer at www.inquirer.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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