Smyrna police ID man shot to death by officer

SMYRNA, DELAWARE (5/3/2015) Smyrna police have identified a man shot to death by an officer investigating a domestic dispute early Saturday and released more details about the incident.

Kenneth Mathena, 52, of Smyrna, died at the Bayhealth Smyrna Emergency Room after the shooting about 12:18 a.m. outside an apartment building in the Sunnyside Village area.

Officers had returned to Building 30 on Malvern Lane for a second complaint about Mathena having a shotgun.

“They observed he was holding a firearm and immediately began giving repeated verbal commands to Mathena to put the gun down and drop the weapon,” Cpl. Brandon Dunning said. “Mathena refused to comply with the verbal commands and then turned towards officers, allegedly pointed the firearm at them.”

It was at that point the officer fired, Dunning said, striking Mathena.

Clayton officers as well as Delaware State Police arrived to assist, he said.

“At the request of our agency, the investigation into the shooting is being conducted by the city of Dover Police Department,” Dunning said, in conjunction with the state Attorney General’s Office.

“No further information will be released regarding this investigation until it’s concluded at which time a full release off all investigative details will be made available,” Dunning said.