Rogers remains in prison custody following shooting

No public outcry over incident, legislators say
August 9, 2013

Michael Rogers, the Georgetown man shot five times Aug. 1 by a state trooper, remains in Department of Corrections custody while his mother says she is considering her options.

"I've been so upset about this," said Lorraine Rogers, whose son has been charged with felony second-degree assault of a police officer and felony resisting arrest with force or violence in connection with the shooting. "I don't know what I'm going to do."

Lorraine said she heard her son was taken to Sussex Correctional Institution's infirmary earlier in the week, and he won't be able to receive visitors until he can walk to the visiting room.

However, John Painter, spokesman for the Department of Corrections said he could not confirm Rogers had been transferred to SCI. In an earlier press release, police said Rogers was taken to Beebe Medical Center for treatment, and he was in critical but stable condition. He is being held in default of $9,500 secured bail.

Rogers was shot in the shoulder, arm, torso, leg and groin, Lorraine said, after he quarreled and fought with Trooper First Class Matthew Morgan. Morgan went to Rogers Deep Branch Road home at 10:11 p.m. to question him about an earlier hit-and-run accident near Oak Orchard.

Police said a car registered to Rogers backed into an unoccupied parked car at 9 p.m. near the Riverside Grill – previously the Riverside Inn – before driving away. A worker who answered the phone at the Riverside Grill said she did not have details on the incident because she was not working that night.

Sgt. Paul Shavack of the Delaware State Police would not say whether Rogers has been charged in the hit-and-run because of "an ongoing and active investigation into the matter."

Shavack said Rogers was highly intoxicated and became uncooperative at his home; a violent physical struggle ensued between Morgan and Rogers. Lorraine said her son was inebriated and angry when he walked away from the trooper, who was inside the home questioning him. The trooper followed Rogers to his bedroom where Lorraine said her son put him in a headlock before the trooper freed himself. Outside the bedroom, the trooper unsuccessfully tried to Taser Rogers, who flipped over a coffee table before he was shot, she said.

Lorraine said Rogers did not have a weapon in his hand and did not move toward the trooper when the trooper fired at Rogers.

"He was just standing there, and the police officer started shooting," she said, adding Morgan fired nine shots from his weapon.

State Sen. Brian Pettyjohn, who represents the Georgetown area, said he has received one phone call from a constituent who wanted more information on the incident. From his perspective, he said, there are not many residents up in arms about the shooting, adding it would be premature to come to a conclusion about the shooting until the investigation is complete.

"I'm confident the state police will do a good job, they've always done a good job before," he said.

Georgetown area Rep. Ruth Briggs-Kings also has heard no outcry from her constituents over the shooting. She said she also is confident that a thorough investigation will get to the bottom of the incident.