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Delaware AG rules officers were justified to use deadly force, wound home invasion suspects

The officers who wounded the suspects of a home invasion were justified to use deadly force, according to the office of the Delaware attorney general.

The Delaware attorney general’s office has determined that New Castle County police officers were justified in using deadly force earlier this year after confronting armed suspects trying to flee a home invasion.

In a report released Wednesday, investigators concluded that the officers reasonably feared for their safety and the safety of fellow officers and residents. Two of the four suspects suffered non-lethal gunshot wounds in the incident, which was captured on the officers’ body-worn cameras.

Among the suspects in the January incident is David Salasky III, whose father is serving two life sentences for the fatal stabbing of New Castle County Police Lt. Joseph Szczerba in 2011.

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Police received a 911 call shortly after 1:45 a.m. on Jan. 22 from a man reporting that armed men were in his home and attacking his roommates.

Responding police officers encountered the suspects as they tried to flee the scene, including one carrying a .22 caliber rifle. Investigators said officers Sean Sweeney-Jones and Ryan Archangelo fired their service weapons, striking Alistair DiPasquale, who was armed with the rifle, and Evan Chandler. Salasky and codefendant Michael Edgerton retreated inside the home and ran out the back.

Salasky was confronted by Officer Alejandro Guillen, who fired one shot after Salasky turned toward him with a gun in his hand. Salasky was not hit.

Edgerton and DiPasquale were able to flee the area but were captured later. DiPasquale dropped his firearm as he fled the property. Chandler was wounded in the left arm and both legs. DiPasquale was hit in the left arm.

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Criminal cases against the defendants are pending.

According to the report, Sweeney-Jones fired his weapon 14 times, and Archangelo fired five shots.

The home invasion occurred just over two years after Sweeney-Jones was involved in another deadly force incident. In that case, Lymond Moses was fatally shot after being confronted by three officers patrolling in a Wilmington neighborhood where several stolen vehicles had been found. Moses was shot after fleeing from officers in a vehicle, then turning around and driving toward them. Sweeney-Jones drew his weapon in that incident but did not fire it.

Investigators determined that lethal force was justified in that incident as well.

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