Man faces 15 years for shoot­ing Ap­ple­bee’s man­ager

Newark Post - - POLICE BLOTTER - By JOSH SHAN­NON jshan­[email protected]­

A man who shot and robbed an Ap­ple­bee’s man­ager in Sub­ur­ban Plaza last year will serve at least 15 years in prison.

Thomas Ellerbe, 41, of Wilm­ing­ton, pleaded guilty last week to sec­ond-de­gree as­sault, sec­ond-de­gree con­spir­acy, pos­ses­sion of a firearm dur­ing the com­mis­sion of a felony and pos­ses­sion of a firearm by a per­son pro­hib­ited. He also faces an ad­di­tional 10 years in prison for vi­o­lat­ing his pa­role in Mary­land.

The charges re­late to an in­ci­dent that hap­pened just af­ter 2 a.m. July 29, 2017.

As the Ap­ple­bee’s man­ager walked to his car af­ter clos­ing the restau­rant, Ellerbe and his ac­com­plice,

James Brooks, emerged from the bushes and con­fronted the 38-year-old man.

Armed with a hand­gun, Ellerbe and Brooks at­tempted to force the man­ager back into the restau­rant. When the man­ager re­fused, Ellerbe shot him in the leg at point-blank range and stole a power drill he had with him.

As the man­ager fell to the ground, he pulled Brooks down with him and used him as a hu­man shield in case Ellerbe fired ad­di­tional shots.

Ellerbe and Brooks even­tu­ally fled in a ve­hi­cle. The man­ager was treated at Chris­tiana Hos­pi­tal and re­leased.

Ne­wark Po­lice de­tec­tives were able to use pub­lic and pri­vate sur veil­lance footage to ob­tain the li­cense plate of the get­away ve­hi­cle, which traced back to Ellerbe. A SWAT team raided Ellerbe’s home two days af­ter the rob­bery and ar­rested him with­out in­ci­dent.

Ellerbe was pro­hib­ited from own­ing firearms due to pre­vi­ous rob­bery and bur­glary con­vic­tions, prose­cu­tors said.

Brooks was ar­rested in De­cem­ber 2017. He was sen­tenced to seven years in prison af­ter plead­ing guilty ear­lier this year.



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