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Sussex Countian
  • Millsboro man shot, killed in home invasion

  • Funeral services are being held today for a 41-year-old Millsboro man killed last week in a home invasion.
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  • Funeral services are being held today for a 41-year-old Millsboro man killed last week in a home invasion.
    James L. Rickards Sr. died in the early morning hours of July 25 after he was shot by one of two men who broke into his home on North Berry Bramble Falls off Bethesda Road north of Millsboro.
    According to the Delaware State Police, a 39-year-old woman called 911 around 1:20 a.m. to report that her boyfriend, Rickards, had been shot by two men who entered the residence and demanded money. Police said after shooting Rickards, the suspects reportedly fled the residence in an unknown direction without any cash or valuables. The female victim, who has not been identified, was uninjured in the incident.
    Rickards, a father of three, was a barber who, according to his cousin and neighbor Hodie Thompson, sometimes cut hair out of his home. Thompson said he heard the gunshots.
    "I heard maybe four gun shots and I saw two people run from the house," he said. "I didn't see their faces. I hollered for him and her, but I got no response."
    Police said the two male suspects are described as wearing dark colored clothing, bandanas across the lower portion of their faces and baseball caps. Police said at this time, no further physical or clothing description is available. One subject was armed with an unknown type of handgun.
    Thompson said the girlfriend, who lived with Rickards, has since moved out of the residence.
    "He was a really good guy," Thompson said. "It's crazy when something like this hits so close to home. He will be very missed."
    Police said the investigation is ongoing, but they have determined through preliminary interviews that this was not a random act, and the victims may have been targeted in the home invasion.
    "In a majority of the cases we investigate, there's usually some underlying circumstance surrounding why a particular house was targeted," said Cpl. Gary Fournier of the Delaware State Police.
    Elysha Mason, whose grandparents live a few houses down from Rickards' residence, said Rickards was really nice, really peaceful, and was always smiling. Mason said he attended her grandparents' barbeques, which were always open to the entire neighborhood.
    "I would have never thought this would happen to someone in this neighborhood because everyone is so close knit," she said. "It makes me worry about my grandparents. In my eyes, he was an innocent man. You're not even safe in your own house, and that's the one place you should be safe."
    The funeral is being held at 1 p.m., with a viewing two hours prior, at St. John 2nd Baptist Church, located at 26602 Mount Joy Road in Millsboro.
    Page 2 of 2 - Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact police at (302) 388-0196 or Delaware Crime Solvers at (800) TIP-3333.

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