Injured Wilmington Police Officer Released From Hospital

Injured Wilmington Police Officer Released From Hospital

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Justin Wilkers, the Wilmington Police Officer that was shot during an attempted traffic stop last weekend was released from the hospital this afternoon.

Wilkers underwent surgery this week. Doctors left the bullet in place for now. It caused no apparent brain or nerve injury.

The three-year police veteran was shot last Sunday just before 4p.m.  Officer Wilkers and his partner spotted a suspicious vehicle at C and South Buttonwood Streets.  When they tried to pull the driver over a couple of blocks away, the car took off.  The chase ended on the 1200 block of Peach Street, when the three suspects in the car got out and ran.  "As one of the suspects exited the vehicle, he drew a handgun and fired at Officer Wilkers, who was attempting to exit the police vehicle," Cpl. Mark Ivey, a spokesman for the Wilmington Police Department, explained.

This is the first time in 20 years a Wilmington police officer has been shot in the line of duty, and clearly it has rattled the department.  "The past 24 hours have been difficult and extremely painful," Cpl. Ivey said.  His boss, Police Chief Christine Dunning, made clear her disgust.  "This assault on our police officer Justin Wilkers is an affront, an insult and a total sign of disrespect of authority."

Wilkers is married with a daughter and a son, both under the age of five.  He's expected to undergo surgery and is facing a long road to recovery.  "We are very fortunate that we still have our brother officer with us today," Chief Dunning said. 

Wilmington Police have arrested all three suspects in this case.  

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