UPDATE: Delaware State Police have released the name of the male subject that died during a domestic incident north of Milton on Oct. 5 as John Pinto III.

The incident occurred around 10:23 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 5, after neighbors called 911 to report that male and female in the 13000 block of Sunland Drive were having a domestic dispute. Troopers responded to the scene and learned that 61-year-old Pinto was armed with an unknown type of firearm and threatening to harm his wife, who was alone in the house with him.

Police established a perimeter around the house and began communicating with Pinto over the phone when he made threatening statements toward the first responders. Gunshots were heard from inside the residence and communication was lost. Shortly thereafter, a 911 call was placed from within the house by a 60-year-old female, whos said that both she and Pinto had been shot.

Troopers located the male and female in a bedroom, where Pinto was pronounced dead by Sussex County Paramedics. An autopsy was performed at a later date by the Delaware Division of Forensic Science and determined his death to be a homicide by gunshot wounds to the upper torso.

The female was removed from the scene by EMS and transported to Beebe Healthcare before being airlifted to Christiana Medical Center, where she continues to be listed in critical condition due to gunshot wounds she sustained to her lower torso during the altercation.

Detectives continue to investigate the incident.

If anyone has any information in reference to the incident, they are asked to contact the Detective J. King at 302-698-8561. Information may also be provided by calling Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333 or via the internet at www.delaware.crimestoppersweb.com.


Delaware State Police homicide detectives are probing a fatal shooting that took place in a neighborhood north of Milton.

Division spokesman Master Cpl. Gary Fournier said the incident, which is being considered a domestic homicide, took place at about 10:23 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5 in the 13000 block of Sunland Ranch Drive.

The Sussex 911 center received a call about a fight between a man and woman at the home; troopers going to the address learned an armed 61-year-old man was in the house with his wife. Troopers established a perimeter around the house and were talking with the man over the phone when he began to threaten the troopers and others.

During these conversations, police heard gunshots and lost the phone line; shortly afterward another 911 call was made from the woman saying both she and the man had been shot.

Troopers found the pair in a bedroom, where the man was pronounced dead by Sussex County paramedics, Fournier said.

The woman first was taken to Beebe Healthcare and then airlifted to the Christiana Medical Center, where she is listed in critical condition.

Fournier declined to release the shooting victim’s name pending notification of his family.

This investigation is still in the early stages and homicide detectives are continuing to conduct interviews and collect evidence at the scene to determine the circumstances surrounding this incident, he said.

Additional information and details will be released as soon as possible.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call Det. King at 302-698-8561.

Information also may be provided by calling Delaware Crime Stoppers at 800-TIP-3333, via the Internet at delawarecrimstoppersweb.com, or by sending a text to 274637 (CRIMES), starting the message with the keyword “DSP.”