2 Dead After Shooting in Dementia Wing of Nursing Home, Police Say

By Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist and currently a news reporter at The Epoch Times. She holds a master's in newspaper journalism from City, University of London.
July 22, 2019 Updated: September 2, 2019

An 82-year old man and 79-year-old woman were killed during a shooting at a Delaware nursing home on July 20, according to police.

Gunfire broke out at the dementia wing of ManorCare Health Services in Wilmington shortly after 1 p.m., reported Fox News.

The facility was on lockdown for almost an hour after the shooting as heavily armed police evacuated the premises to investigate the deaths. The pair had been found with apparent gunshot wounds.

The remaining ManorCare nursing home residents were taken to a building nearby by wheelchair as police examined the scene.

Among those who responded to the incident were members of the Delaware State Police, EMS personnel and New Castle County and city police, according to Delaware Online.

In a press statement, Delaware State Police said they recovered a handgun at the scene.

The first victim, a 79-year-old woman, was a resident at the nursing home, while police believe the 82-year-old man was a visitor, according to officials. It is unclear if or how the pair were related. Their identities have not yet been disclosed.

Concerned families with relatives in the Wilmington nursing home were left in the dark for hours, as police only confirmed what had happened after 6.30 p.m., according to CBS Philadelphia.

They were reportedly told to wait for updates from ManorCare staff at Lombardy Elementary School, reported Delaware Online.

Delaware resident Donna Taylor told CBS Philadelphia at the time, “Everybody’s worried and concerned just like you would be if there’s an active shooter where your relative would be staying.

“Right now we don’t know anything. We’re told that they are being secured and our family is safe, but we have not heard from any of our relatives. I haven’t heard from my grandmother,” she added.

Another worried family member, Tia Minella, whose father-in-law stays at the nursing home, told Delaware Online that she hadn’t receive any updates for at least two hours.

Others, meanwhile, were left concerned about the security and safety of the facility following the attack.

Wilmington resident Arlene Eaddy-Beard told CBS Philadelphia that she planned to bring her mother home with her as soon as she could.

“You have to be concerned about the safety issues because someone was able to walk in with a gun and do what he did while everyone else is working,” she explained.

“My mom will be coming home. If I can get her tonight, we would just take her home.”

A spokesperson for ManorCare Health Services-Wilmington said the facility is “shocked and saddened by the isolated tragedy.”

“Our thoughts are with our resident’s family. This is a challenging and emotional time for all of us and we have bereavement representatives in the center working with our staff and patients,” the spokesperson said.

“We are also in the process of calling family members and assessing our patients and residents. Our administrative team is on site and working with authorities.

“The police have just cleared the center and are allowing our team access. Our priority right now is to our residents, patients, their families and our staff.”

The bodies of the victims have been taken for autopsy to the Delaware Division of Forensic Science for autopsy, according to Delaware Online.

Wilmington Man Fatally Shot

In an unrelated incident, a man was found dead with gunshot wounds shortly before 9 p.m. on July 21 in Wilmington, when police responded to a report of a vehicle hitting a building.

The 23-year-old was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead, reported Fox 29. No other injuries were reported.

Wilmington Police believe the man was shot on I-95 and urge anyone with information related to the incident to get in touch.

Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist and currently a news reporter at The Epoch Times. She holds a master's in newspaper journalism from City, University of London.