Male suspect shot, dies following vehicle chase in New Castle


This story has been updated

NEWARK - Jonathan Wiseman, 39, of Newark, died following a lengthy vehicle chase and exchanges of gunfire Friday morning, Delaware State Police announced in the incident’s aftermath.

Police said the sequence began around 7:30 a.m. with a response to a suspicious person with a gun report in the Newport area. The man fled on foot and pointed a gun at police, according to authorities, and gunfire ensued.

The man carjacked two vehicles and failed in at least three attempts as the chase continued throughout the New Castle and Newark areas.

The final sequence at around 9 a.m. occurred in the area of U.S. 95 and Del. 896 in the Newark area, police said. Police said the suspect engaged with police and was shot. 

The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene after police attempted to render medical aid before paramedics arrived, according to authorities.

A school bus was struck by gunfire early in the sequence, and police said no injuries were reported.

The suspect also discharged a round that struck a vehicle’s interior during one attempted carjacking, police said.

Authorities said multiple law enforcement agencies were investigating and four crime scenes were being reviewed. More than 20 law enforcement officers were involved in the incident, Capt. Short said.

No determination had been made on how many rounds had been discharged, Capt. Short said. Shots were believed to have been fired at all four crime scenes, Capt. Short said.

In a news release, police said “An uninvolved motorist was injured during this event. He was treated at an area hospital and released. The circumstances of this injury remain unclear and are under investigation at this time.”

Multiple sources of video would be part of the investigation, Capt. Short said, including from police body cameras, along with that sought from witnesses and nearby businesses.

The New Castle County Vocational Technical School District sent a message to all Newport-based-Delcastle Technical High School families that read:

“Good morning, Delcastle families. We want to make you aware of a troubling incident that occurred this morning during Bus 15’s route to work.

“Unknown to the driver, there was criminal activity on the normal route taken by Bus 15 to Delcastle. It is imperative that we tell you that no students were injured; however, the bus was hit by three bullets, only one of which penetrated into the bus interior and hit the arm rest next to the driver.

“It is also important for you to know that our students and bus were not targeted in this incident.

“The driver immediately pulled to a safe place to call her supervisor and then continued to Delcastle to drop off the students.

“We are incredibly grateful to the driver for her quick, calm response and her ability to deliver the students to school safely.

“We are of course also grateful that there were no injuries as a result of this incident. Our school counselors have already been briefed and are ready to assist and support all students.”

Earlier, State Police issued a traffic advisory for the public advising of an increased police presence in the Newark area.

Police said at the time that, as a result, U.S. 95 northbound and southbound in the area of Del. 896 would be shut down for an extended period.

Capt. Short later said that the interstate was reopened around 4 p.m.

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