According to the Delaware State News, on Monday night a 15-year-old victim of a shooting called authorities around 9:49 p.m. The 15-year-old reported he had been shot and was conscious when emergency teams arrived.
Police say the shooting occurred in a back alley of Paul Street near Davis Circle. There were no witnesses when officers arrived on scene and it remains unclear if witnesses were interviewed in the area. Additionally, police cannot say if the victim gave any information to the suspect or what happened before the 15-year-old passed away.
Authorities are urging anyone with information to this shooting to call Delaware Crime Stoppers at 800-TIP-3333 and callers may remain anonymous. A cash reward of $1,000 is being offered to anyone with information that leads to an arrest.
Attorney contributor Phil Edwards works closely with victims of violent crimes in civil cases and below we have asked him to share his insight on the legal options available to these victims and their families.
"If you or a loved one were recently the victims of a violent crime, it more than normal to wonder about your legal options. You may be asking yourself whether you can get a court-ordered restitution or other type of financial compensation. Moreover, you could be considering whether third parties can be held liable for preventing the crime that affected you.
Most persons can understand why violent crimes usually carry the most severe penalties. In many states, murder can still be punished through execution, a fact that distinguishes the United States’ criminal justice system from those in most other developed nations. Punishing criminals, and deterring would-be criminals from committing crimes, is the primary goal of the American criminal justice system. Supporting the victims of crime is not," says Edwards.
"In the absence of help from the criminal justice system, many crime victims and families turn to the civil justice system, choosing to file lawsuits against a criminal offender or third-party whose negligence allowed the crime to occur," explains Edwards.
"Beyond restitution, every state operates a crime victims' compensation fund, using monetary fines and penalties levied against convicted criminal offenders. These funds offer emergency financing for crime-related expenses to thousands of families every year, but also come with strict reporting requirements and compensation limits attached." Edwards describes.