Fleeing man accused of pulling gun on Dover police

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Sameer Dover, left, and Zhamir Cooper-Watson were arrested Wednesday in the area of Barrister Place, authorities said. (Submitted photos/Dover Police Department)

DOVER —- A potentially lethal situation was diffused Wednesday night after a fleeing 21-year-old Dover man allegedly pulled a loaded handgun from his coat during a police pursuit, authorities said.

According to the Dover Police Department, Zhamir Cooper-Watson followed an officer’s command to drop the weapon, a .38 caliber Smith and Wesson revolver loaded with five rounds of ammunition.

“The officer acted quickly, but I cannot speak to the actions of the suspect,” Dover Police Department spokesman Master Cpl. Mark Hoffman said.

“It could be assumed that the suspect quickly realized he may have been met with equal force had he not complied immediately and surrendered the weapon.”

The incident unfolded at approximately 9 p.m. in a back alley bordering Barrister Place and included a foot chase of about 200 feet, police said.

Initially, Mr. Cooper-Watson and two other people were contacted in the vicinity of the 400 block of Barrister Place as officers responded to an armed robbery call at Dover East Estates, police said.

As an officer approached, police said, Mr. Cooper-Watson ran away and a chase began.

The other two people in the group stayed in the area with a Dover Police cadet, according to Cpl. Hoffman.

One eventually was released after an interview, while Sameer Dover, 19, of the 100 block of Lady Bug Drive, allegedly was found with 27.6 grams of marijuana, police said.

Mr. Dover was charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, and released on his own recognizance.

Mr. Cooper-Watson, of the 400 block of Barrister Place, was charged with carrying a concealed deadly weapon and resisting arrest.

He was committed to James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna on a $5,500 secured bond.

While the surrendered gun was not found to be stolen, “There is no way of knowing how he obtained it,” Cpl. Hoffman said.

Authorities said they could not elaborate on the frequency of guns being pulled out while officers are pursuing.

Mr. Cooper-Watson, Mr. Dover and the other person were not considered suspects in the armed robbery complaint that originally brought officers to the area, police said.

“That case is still being investigated, but they are not believed to be the suspects after conducting interviews and investigation into their actions,” Cpl. Hoffman said.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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