Richard Pollitt and Rose Velazquez, USA Today, April 28, 2021
Authorities confirmed Wednesday that Delmar police officer Cpl. Keith Heacook, 54, has died following a brutal assault Sunday morning at the Yorkshire Estates community.
The attack left Heacook, who his sister said wanted to “help people” as an officer, with a significant head injury.
The 22-year veteran of the department was found unconscious by a Delaware trooper and Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office deputy after he responded to a fight-in-progress call at about 5:12 a.m. Sunday.
Court documents state Heacook was attacked by Randon D. Wilkerson, 30. According to a witness, Wilkerson slammed his foot repeatedly on the officer’s head while he lay unconscious, police said.
Wilkerson, who is accused of also assaulting an elderly couple, was charged late Sunday with attempted murder in the first degree, and two counts of first-degree assault, among other charges.
His charges will be upgraded to include murder, Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings confirmed during Wednesday’s news conference.
Heacook was inspired to pursue a career in law enforcement when he was in a car wreck nearly 30 years ago. Police pulled him out of a ditch and flew him to Christiana Hospital, where doctors gave him a 50-50 chance of surviving at the time. He had also been placed on a ventilator following that incident.