Probe continues into 2014 Dover officer-involved fatal shooting

DOVER — A December 2014 police officer-involved shooting that left a 52-year-old man dead remains under investigation as is standard practice, the Delaware Department of Justice confirmed this past week.

According to a Dover Police Department news release immediately after the incident, James Long was shot twice after he allegedly pointed what was believed to be a firearm at officers as they entered his apartment after a 77-minute standoff.

Two officers who discharged their department-issued firearms were placed on standard policy administrative leave with pay as investigation by the Dover Police Department in conjunction with the Delaware Attorney General’s office began, authorities said.

Pictured is the pellet gun that James Long allegedly pointed at police officers entering his residence after a standoff in December 2013, authorities said. (Submitted photo/Dover Police Department)

Pictured is the pellet gun that James Long allegedly pointed at police officers entering his residence after a standoff in December 2014, authorities said. (Submitted photo/Dover Police Department)

According to an AG’s office spokesman, the ongoing incident review is inclusive, including investigation into the actions of all law enforcement officers involved at the scene.

Attempts to reach Dover Police for comment this past week were unsuccessful.

The Justice Department said all officer-involved shootings are investigated by the Office of Civil Rights and Public Trust, which was created when Attorney General Matt Denn took office in January. The process is conducted “so the investigation and review are done by DOJ personnel who do not work with law enforcement on a daily basis, ensuring independence in the investigation,” an AG’s office spokesman said.

When the investigation is completed, the DOJ will post a public report online at Reports on other shooting incidents are also available there.

Police describe sequence

In a news release, authorities said the sequence began at 10:38 p.m. Dec. 20, 2014, when Dover Police dispatchers took a call from a Crisis Center

James Long

James Long

reporting Mr. Long was having suicidal thoughts and had “vocalized a plan to commit ‘suicide by cop.’ “ Police said Mr. Long had been involved in previous incidents with Dover officers, including one with similar threats being made.

Officers arrived at the Country Club Apartment complex at 10:46 p.m., and residential entry was made at 12:03 a.m. after police said Mr. Long would not cooperate with them.

After Mr. Long was shot, police said, officers immediately rendered first aid until Emergency Medical Services arrived shortly afterward. He was taken to Bayhealth-Kent General Hospital in Dover and later pronounced dead due to his injuries, according to authorities.

Police said in a news release that Mr. Long allegedly had displayed a pellet/BB gun resembling a Colt semi-automatic handgun.

Authorities said they found Mr. Long allegedly had “booby-trapped his apartment with an improvised device designed to mix dangerous chemicals that would have created a toxic gas, in an effort to cause injury or death to police officers.”

Police said the officers involved included a corporal with 10 years experience, and a patrolman first class who is a six-year veteran.

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