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April 29, 2017

Delaware Wawa stores raising money for slain trooper

Wawa stores in Delaware are raising money for the family of a state trooper who was fatally shot in the parking lot of one of the convenience chain's locations. 

Fliers hanging in the store at 2030 Limestone Road in Wilmington tell customers they can add an additional dollar or more onto their bill for the family of Corporal Stephen J. Ballard, who was gunned down Wednesday outside a Wawa in Bear after going to check on a suspicious vehicle.

The fliers also say Wawa will donate $50,000 to the fund. A Wawa spokesperson said the fundraiser will last through May 8, and is happening at all 40 of the chain's Delaware locations.

 “Cpl. Ballard’s memory will live on forever," said John Sharpless, director of operations for Wawa's Delaware stores. "He was a hero deeply committed to the safety of his community."

"We hope the Memorial Fund serves as one small way for the Delaware community and all of us at Wawa to provide comfort and support to the Ballard family during this incredibly difficult time.”

Jen Reardon/PhillyVoice

This flier hanging at a Wawa in Wilmington, Delaware, informs customers they can donate money to the family of state police Corporal Stephen J. Ballard, who was fatally shot in the parking lot of another Wawa in Bear.

Ballard was in the parking lot of the Wawa at 1605 Pulaski Highway when he approached a vehicle that reportedly had two suspicious people inside.

Police say Burgon Sealy Jr., 26, got out of the vehicle and shot Ballard multiple times, firing at him at close range while he was already on the ground, before fleeing the scene.

Ballard, 32, was rushed to the hospital where he died. 

Sealy then barricaded himself inside his home in Middletown, firing at officers who surrounded the residence, authorities said.

After police unsuccessfully tried to get Sealy to surrender peacefully during the 20-hour standoff, Sealy emerged from the home armed Thursday morning and was shot dead by officers.

Authorities have yet to determine a motive for Sealy. The other person in the car was questioned and released by police without being charged. 

Ballard is survived by his wife and a daughter. A funeral for the slain trooper is set for Friday, May 5.

PhillyVoice staffer Jen Reardon contributed to this report.