Man shot his ex-wife through the window of Bridgeville-area home, police say

Man shot his ex-wife through the window of Bridgeville-area home, police say
Photo by David von Diemar on Unsplash

A Millsboro man went to the home of his ex-wife near Bridgeville on Wednesday and repeatedly fired a rifle through the windows, shooting her dead, state police said.

Police gave an update on Thursday after sending out notice Wednesday evening of "increased police presence in the area" because of a criminal investigation.

Ronald Donaway, 74, of Millsboro, went to the home on the 11000 block of Abbeys Way east of Bridgeville on Wednesday and began firing his rifle through the windows of the living room, kitchen and bedrooms, police said. His former wife, Hilda Donaway, age 70, was shot and killed in the kitchen. Her grandson, age 23, escaped out a bedroom window and was not hurt.

Police said Donaway went into the home, then fled in a black Kia. Troopers responded to the scene at about 6:18 p.m., and police said responding officers stopped Donaway's vehicle at the entrance to the community and arrested him.

Donaway faces charges of first-degree murder, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, home invasion and first degree reckless endangering. He was held at Sussex Correctional Institution on $900,000 cash bond.

Police are still investigating the incident. They asked anyone with information to contact detective Mark Csapo at 302-741-2729 or

According to Delaware Online's online database of shootings, there were no recorded shootings in the Bridgeville area in 2021 until December. But this is now the second fatal shooting in the area this month. On Dec. 2, what police called an apparent murder-suicide took the lives of two people in the Heritage Shores development within Bridgeville town limits. Police said Peter Colletti, 71, was found shot dead in his home and his brother-in-law Joseph Caldarera was also found dead with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Bridgeville is not known for violent crime, although there are often a couple of incidents a year in the area. Since 2017, according to the database, there have been 10 shootings in the area. Five shootings in the Coverdale Crossroads community left five people dead and two injured in that time period. One person was killed and one hurt in a shooting on Apple Tree Road, not far from the latest shooting, in 2017. One person was killed north of Bridgeville in 2018, and one person was injured inside town limits in a 2019 shooting.