Officer critically injured after responding to fight call by himself: ‘Found unconscious with significant injuries’

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DELMAR, DE – According to reports, a Delmar Police officer was critically injured after responding to a fight in progress alone during the morning of April 25th.

While details are limited regarding the specifics of this incident the officer responded to, officials note that the officer was admitted to a “Shock Trauma,” unit having suffered “significant injuries.”

The Delaware State Police shared a press release regarding the April 25th incident where Corporal Keith Heacook of the Delmar Police Department wound up being seriously injured after responding to a “fight in progress” call.

DPD Corporal Heacook was reportedly dispatched at approximately 5:12 a.m. to a residence located within the 11000 block of Buckingham drive within the Yorkshire Estates community.

The Delaware State Police press release noted that “it is unclear what transpired inside the residence, but we do know the officer was involved in a physical altercation.”

After Corporal Heacook arrived at the home, dispatchers were attempting to check on the officer and were receiving no response, which resulted in additional officers being sent to the scene along with a Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office Deputy and a Delaware State Trooper.

The additional units that arrived on scene located Corporal Heacook and found him to be unconscious inside of the residence.

Immediate aid was rendered to the injured officer, and EMS reportedly transported him to an area hospital in Salisbury where the officer was eventually transported to “Shock Trauma in Baltimore with significant injuries.”

Authorities say that there was also a “separate, but related assault,” that occurred across the street from the original incident involving “an elderly couple.”

Officials say that the victims in that separate assault had sustained significant injury and were also sent to area hospitals, with one also being later transported to Shock Trauma.

Numerous suspects that were reportedly inside of the home where the original incident occurred were said to have been taken into custody.

Chief Ivan Barkley of Delmar Police Department shared the following statement regarding Corporal Heacook:

“Corporal Keith Heacook is a 22 year veteran and has been employed with our department since 1998.

“He is a husband, son, brother, and father. Keith is fighting for his life right now and he needs your prayers along with the elderly couple who were also injured. Members from the Delmar Police appreciate the outpouring of community support as we continue to move forward.

“We appreciate the support from the Delaware State Police, Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office, Maryland State Police, and all other agencies who responded and are assisting with this investigation.”

Chief Barkley described Corporal Heacook’s sustained as being a traumatic head injury.

No further information has been shared by officials as of this writing. The Delaware State Police are currently leading the investigation into this incident.

Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we continue to gather further insight into this developing investigation.

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Law Enforcement Today recently reported on an officer that was seriously injured after a Molotov cocktail was reportedly thrown at him when responding to a noise complaint. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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STE. GENEVIEVE, MO – A 34-year-old man is facing charges in connection with a police officer that was seriously burned by lit Molotov cocktail that was thrown at him.

Officials say the suspect is being held in the Ste. Genevieve County Jail with no bond.

According to Ste. Genevieve Police Chief Eric Bennett, 36-year-old Officer Pete Unverferth had responded to the St. Jude subdivision at approximately 1:00 a.m. on April 16th, after a local had reportedly called 911 regarding a subject revving the engine of a motorcycle.

By the time Officer Unverferth had arrived in the area where the call was placed, the officer had made his way up to the driveway of a home when he was allegedly approached from behind by 34-year-old Tyson Paul Heise.

Officials say that the suspect was carrying a lit Molotov cocktail when approaching Officer Unverferth from the rear. The officer reportedly unholstered his Taser and commanded Heise to drop the Molotov cocktail.

Chief Bennett said that an altercation transpired thereafter between the officer and the suspect, which resulted in Officer Unverferth deploying his Taser and Heise allegedly throwing the Molotov cocktail at the officer.

Officer Unverferth was said to have been hit in the arm with the incendiary device allegedly hurled by the suspect, with Chief Bennett stating that the officer proceeded to “stop, drop and roll,” in order to put out the fire that spread across his body.

The officer was said to have suffered severe burns to his arms and legs as a result of the attack.

According to Chief Bennett, family members of the suspect came to the officer’s aid after the flames broke out. Heise’s sister, Erica, recounted the harrowing moments that when she helped Officer Unverferth:

“I panicked and I didn’t know what to do. I ran inside, got a pot of water and as I’m standing there filling it up, it felt like 10 minutes went by. So I just brought out what I had and that’s when he was under the water and I just threw it on him.”

The injured officer was reportedly airlifted to an area hospital for treatment, with officials saying that while Officer Unverferth’s injuries are not life-threatening, he will require surgery.

Investigators that were working the scene of the incident were said to have recovered a “busted and burned glass bottle,” with the neck of the bottle reportedly still intact and the remnants of a “charred” cloth were also present.

The suspect’s parents reportedly informed police that Heise had previously threatened their lives and described their son as being” homicidal and suicidal.”

Heise’s sister effectively referred to her brother as something akin to a proverbial ticking time bomb:

“We knew something bad was going to happen if he didn’t get help. We all seen it coming. Something or somebody was going to get hurt or something was going to happen.”

Keith, Heise’s stepfather, said that his stepson has “been failed by the system,” when remarking on several failed attempts to get Heise the needed mental health services:

“It’s a sad situation. We tried to get him help time and time again before something bad happened.”

Heise was reportedly charged with first-degree assault and armed criminal action in connection with the incident.

Officer Unverferth was described by Chief Bennett as a 13-year law enforcement veteran, while having spent the past nine years with the Ste. Genevieve Police Department and highlighting the officer’s time within the department’s DARE program:

“He’s a very likeable officer, he was our DARE officer for a while so he has really good rapport in the city. He’s been here for nine years and has always done a really good job for our department.”

It’s unclear when Officer Unverferth will be released from the hospital following his injury.

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