Delaware man shot and killed by police was also fugitive in Florida case

New Castle County Police have released more details surrounding the undercover drug operation that led up to police shooting 32 year old Erik Turnbull to death.

Police had said the two veteran officers were at the Harbor Club Apartments in Newark as part of an undercover operation that focused on Turnbull.  Police add that Turnbull was going to sell marijuana to an undercover police officer.

Corporal John Weglarz, New Castle County Police spokesman, also said that Turnbull was a fugitive in a felony assault and battery case in Florida.  

The Turnbull family has been very vocal over the last few days about the link between Turnbull and drugs.  The News Journal reports family members met with New Castle County Police on Monday.  Family members told the paper police did not release any other information than what was in the official news release.  In the Wednesday edition of the paper they question the new details.  Twanna Underdue, Erik Turnbull’s sister, told the News Journall, “this is a bogus trumped up story.”

The basic facts from police remain the same, but now police have released the order of events in greater detail.  Weglarz said Turnbull was driving his GMC Envoy in the first block of Cheswold Boulevard.  Police ordered him to pull over. As two officers approached the vehicle Turnbull put his car in reverse ramming the police vehicle on the passenger side.  The officer who had just gotten out of that side of the car had to run to avoid being hit.

Police then say one of the officers drew his gun and approached Turnbull’s car, ordering him to surrender. Turnbull refused and put his car in drive and headed for two other officers and their car.  Police again ordered Turnbull to surrender.  Weglarz said this time the officer on the passenger side of the second vehicle fired one shot that hit Turnbull in the upper chest.  

That still didn’t stop Turnbull, according to police, and as he got closer to the second police car, he was shot again by the second officer.  Turnbull’s car struck the second car as well.

Turnbull was finally stopped when he crashed into a house in the Harmony Woods neighborhood.  Police say he after he was shot he drove down Cheswold Boulevard and turned on Melodic Drive before crashing.

Police add they found marijuana in Turnbull’s car that fit the amount the undercover officer was going to buy as part of their drug sting.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.