DOVER — A 22-year-old resident was shot in the chest and an alleged intruder injured during one of two home invasions on the same block Sunday night, police said.
The two incidents occurred within about 30 minutes of each other in the 100 block of Willis Road and were not believed to be connected, Dover Police said.
“There is nothing to indicate they are at this time. However, detectives are investigating that possibility,” police spokesman Master Cpl. Mark Hoffman said.
Nonetheless, the sequence of events was a rarity, according to police.
“It is extremely unusual to see this occur within an hour of each other and on the same road, let alone the same block,” Cpl. Hoffman said.
Last Tuesday night, city police investigated a home invasion in the 100 block of Ann Avenue where two unidentified handgun-wielding suspects entered and held a resident at gunpoint before taking property and fleeing.
Police said home invasions within the city are rare, and there’s no belief that they’re now increasing.
“Home invasions are not a common occurrence in Dover and we believe these incidents are isolated and not the beginning of a trend,” Cpl. Hoffman said. “However, securing doors and windows is the most basic way to lessen vulnerability.”
Regarding the 100 block area of Willis Road, Cpl. Hoffman said, “Obviously there will be concerns from area residents, and rightfully so. However, we believe these are isolated and not the beginning of a trend in Dover.”
The Willis Road residences were not immediate neighbors, police said.
In the first reported incident at 10:30 p.m., authorities said a 49-year-old man suffered a minor laceration to his forehead as four to five unidentified suspects entered a residence and threatened three occupants with handguns, Cpl. Hoffman said.
The wounded man was taken to Bayhealth-Kent General Hospital in Dover and treated, police said.
Police are investigating whether the entry was random or targeted.
At approximately 11 p.m., according to police, a 22-year-old man was shot at a home in the same block after a suspect broke through a bedroom window and forced his way inside.
After entry, police said, a suspect fired several shots, including one that hit the resident. The resident fought with the intruder who fled the property, according to authorities.
The wounded resident was transported to Kent General, where he was in stable condition after medical treatment.
According to police, Hakeem Leonard, 24, arrived at the hospital seeking treatment for non-life threatening injuries and was identified as a suspect in the home invasion. Authorities said Mr. Leonard allegedly was injured during the earlier confrontation.
Mr. Leonard was arrested without incident, and then arraigned at Justice of the Peace Court 7 in Dover; charges included home invasion, first-degree assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and criminal mischief.
Mr. Leonard was held at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna after failing to post $100,100 secured bond.
No handgun was recovered, police said.
The specifics of Mr. Leonard’s injuries were not disclosed. It was unknown if he had a past relationship with the resident or the motive for entry, according to police.
“We are uncertain at this point and continue to look into the case,” Cpl. Hoffman said.
A similar incident occurred at 2:04 a.m. Sunday when an uninvited suspect entered a home in the 300 block of Fulton Street, was asked to leave and then struck a 20-year-old man in the back of the head with a handgun before fleeing, police said.
The victim was treated at Kent General for a laceration on his head.
The unidentified suspect entered the residence without permission during a small gathering, authorities said. Police described the matter as a trespass/burglary that did not meet the requirements to be considered a home invasion.
The suspect was described as a black male wearing a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt and black pants.
Police said investigations are ongoing and asked anyone with information to contact Dover Police at 736-7130. Callers may remain anonymous. Tips also can be submitted to law enforcement through tip lines maintained by Delaware Crime Stoppers at (800) TIP-3333, at www.tipsubmit.com or through Dover Police’s MyPD mobile app.