BEAR, Del. (WTXF) - In the wake of Delaware State Police Corporal Stephen Ballard’s death, students and staff members at Keene Elementary School took a trip to the Troop 2 headquarters on Friday.
Hundreds of Keene Elementary School children passed by Delaware Troopers, laying flowers at a growing memorial for Cpl. Ballard, their hero.
Each student and teacher placed a flower on the flagpole in memory of Cpl. Ballard, sharing high fives and handshakes with troopers.
Meanwhile, the tragic event has shaken and saddened the entire community.
Many of the school children are trying to make sense of the tragedy. One student finds some solace in the flower she left by the slain Troopers police car.
Their school is nextdoor to Troop 2, where Cpl. Ballard worked every day.
They're also familiar with the Wawa in Bear, where he was shot and killed.
"I kind of had a little bit of trouble consuming that he died in the line of duty and that this actually happened cause it was right down the street from our school,” one fifth-grader told Fox 29.
State officials have yet to reveal a motive, and the investigation continues.
"It's unfortunate this happened and—"
While Master Cpl. Jeffrey Hale gets choked up thinking about his fallen brother in blue, seeing neighboring kids sharing in gentle moments with his colleagues helps keep him going.
"It kind of gave us a little bit of time to relax a little bit you know? Be ourselves and not have to think about the tragic reason why we were here today."
Memorial services and funeral arrangements for Cpl.Ballard were announced today.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 5 at The Chase Center on the Riverfront, 815 Justison Street, Wilmington, Del.19801, where friends may pay respects to Cpl. Ballard's family from 8:30–11 a.m. His interment will be in Gracelawn Memorial Park, 2220 N. Dupont Highway, New Castle, Del., immediately following the services.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in his memory be made to the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), of which Cpl. Ballard was a member.