By Richard Pollitt and Rose Velazquez

Authorities confirmed Wednesday that Delmar police officer Cpl. Keith Heacook, 54, has died following a brutal assault Sunday morning at the Yorkshire Estates community

The attack left Heacook, who his sister said wanted to “help people” as an officer, with a significant head injury.

At 12:48 p.m. Wednesday, hospital officials in Baltimore pronounced him clinically deceased, though he is still on life support, Delmar Police Chief Ivan Barkley said in an evening news conference. Heacook’s organs will be donated. 

Officer killed in the line of duty saves lives through organ donation

“I need you to know that even with his sacrifice, he’s still a hero for someone,” Barkley said.

Funeral arrangements for Heacook will be made in the coming days.

The 22-year veteran of the department was found unconscious by a Delaware trooper and Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office deputy after he responded to a fight-in-progress call at about 5:12 a.m. Sunday.

Police officer declared clinically dead after being attacked while on duty

Court documents state Heacook was attacked by Randon D. Wilkerson, 30. According to a witness, Wilkerson slammed his foot repeatedly on the officer’s head while he lay unconscious, police said. 

On Sunday, Heacook was transported to the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, part of the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. He was on a ventilator and a shunt was inserted in his skull to relieve pressure, Kathy Heacook told Delmarva Now, part of the USA TODAY Network, on Monday.

Wilkerson, who is accused of also assaulting an elderly couple, was charged late Sunday with attempted murder in the first degree, and two counts of first-degree assault, among other charges. 

His charges will be upgraded to include murder, Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings confirmed during Wednesday’s news conference.

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