2021 police shooting in Pot Nets deemed justified, report states

Long Neck man remains in prison on charges
July 26, 2022

A 2021 police shooting in Pot Nets was not criminal, according to a use of deadly force report recently released by the Delaware Department of Justice.

On Nov. 19, Delaware State Police responded to a home on Crab Alley East after receiving a report of a domestic incident involving Michael Bartie of Long Neck. After drinking pints of whiskey, the report states, Bartie argued with his fiancée before locking himself in a bedroom with their 9-month-old son. When police arrived, the report states, Bartie told them there would be a shootout if they approached his home. Troopers tried negotiating with Bartie for several hours before taking cover about 300 feet away. 

“Bartie exited the house wearing body armor and carrying a rifle. He had a flashlight in his hand which he shone at troopers, using a strobe feature,” the report states. “Because of the darkness, troopers were unable to see Bartie well. Troopers then heard gunshots originating from Bartie’s location.”

An officer fired his rifle at Bartie, hitting him four times; Bartie survived and was arrested. He was taken to an area hospital for his gunshot wounds, and later charged with possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a felony and four counts of first-degree reckless endangering. He was committed to Sussex Correctional Institution in default of $600,000 cash bond. No one else was injured in the shooting.

The report states that rifle casings were found near where Bartie exited the home.

The use of deadly force report – a standard evaluation to determine whether a law enforcement officer’s use of deadly force was a crime – found that the officer reasonably believed the use of deadly force was immediately necessary for the purpose of protecting himself and others.   

“For these reasons, the Department of Justice concludes the use of deadly force in this case does not constitute a criminal offense under the laws of the State of Delaware,” the report states.

Bartie, 32, remains in custody at SCI awaiting a trial Oct. 11 in Sussex County Superior Court.  


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