Police: Wounded suspect admitted having gun during Dover chase

DOVER — According to authorities a 21-year-old Dover man said he had a handgun during a chase that concluded with him being shot by an officer last Friday afternoon.

Terrance Fletcher made the admission during a Tuesday interview with investigators, Dover Police Department said

The Dover Police Department released this image taken from a bystander’s video camera on Friday, which authorities said shows an officer administering first aid to Terrance Fletcher after he was shot. (Submitted photos by Dover Police Department)

The Dover Police Department released this image taken from a bystander’s video camera on Friday, which authorities said shows an officer administering first aid to Terrance Fletcher after he was shot. (Submitted photos by Dover Police Department)

when publicly releasing additional details about the incident’s investigation.

According to Dover Police, Mr. Fletcher allegedly threw the .38 caliber revolver when he was wounded by an officer who fired his departmental-issued service weapon in a parking lot in the 100 block of South Governors Avenue.

The officer, a member of the Street Crimes Unit, has been placed on administrative leave with pay pending investigation by Dover Police detectives, the Internal Affairs unit, and the Delaware Department of Justice’s Office of Civil Rights and Public Trust.

“The officer-involved shooting in Dover Friday will be reviewed by the Delaware Department of Justice to determine compliance with Delaware law,” DOJ spokesman Carl Kanefsky said Tuesday.

“The Department of Justice reviews all cases where an officer discharges a firearm resulting in injury or death. Since January, these reviews have been conducted by DOJ’s Office of Civil Rights and Public Trust, consisting of attorneys and investigators who do not regularly interact with police agencies, so as to preserve objectivity.

“Findings and summaries of the Department of Justice with respect to incidents of use of force by police have been, and will continue to be, publicly released and available when they are completed.”

On Tuesday, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Central Delaware President La Mar Gunn said he hoped for afederal investigation into the incident, which would benefit the Dover Police Department and the public at large.

Pictured is the alleyway between 111 and 115 S. New St. that the Dover Police Department said Terrance Fletcher ran through on Friday before he was shot.

Pictured is the alleyway between 111 and 115 S. New St. that the Dover Police Department said Terrance Fletcher ran through on Friday before he was shot.

“I’m not asking for an outside party to come in so it can expose the Dover PD, but if an outside federal agency reached its own investigative conclusions, the public would know it was at least reviewed by a (source outside Delaware),” he said.

“If the Dover PD investigates and its findings are found to be not to some of the public’s liking, people can say ‘OK, we knew there wouldn’t be a thorough investigation because the Dover PD is corrupt.‘

“A federal investigation and its findings would take pressure off the Dover PD because it’s coming from an independent entity that’s outside the state,“ he added.

‘May have misspoke’

On Tuesday, Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen said he “may have misspoke” when he said in an interview last week that police told him a gun was pointed at law enforcement. But “the bottom line is that the guy did have a gun on him and if he didn’t use it there, he would have used it somewhere else.”

Mr. Christiansen said he had arrived at the scene shortly beforehand and made the statement prior to the conclusion of the police investigation.

In a news release Tuesday, Dover Police included the affidavit of probable cause regarding Mr. Fletcher’s arrest, along with a link to the agency’s use of force policy.

“Throughout the incident and its aftermath, the department has continued to pledge that we will be as transparent as allowed by law by releasing details as they become available and we will continue to do so,” the news release stated.

Also included was a map image indicating what areas are most affected by crime, with a bright colored hot spot covering the downtown area.

“Throughout the days following the officer involved shooting, there have been many questions as to the reasons why Dover Police Department has focused on downtown areas for proactive enforcement,” the release stated.

“The downtown area has been plagued with crime, mostly committed by persons who do not reside in the area at all. A look at press releases issued about arrests in the area of concern will show that a large amount of people arrested reside outside the downtown area.

“It has been the primary location of quality of life crimes and issues, violent crime, and drug-related crimes and the Dover Police Department will continue to address these issues in those areas to make it a safer community.”

Soft tissue wound

Mr. Fletcher suffered what was described by medical personnel as a non-life threatening soft tissue wound to his upper thigh, with no bones or vital organs being struck, police said. Authorities said an officer immediately rendered first aid as a radio call was made for medical personnel.

Mr. Fletcher was arraigned by a Justice of the Peace Court 7 magistrate after transport to Bayhealth-Kent General

The Dover Police Department released an overhead view of the path it said Terrance Fletcher took during a pursuit Friday.

The Dover Police Department released an overhead view of the path it said Terrance Fletcher took during a pursuit Friday.

Hospital for treatment. He was held by the Department of Correction on $20,000 bond and is expected to be released from a James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna infirmary into the pre-trial population “shortly,” police said Tuesday afternoon.

Just before 1 p.m. Friday, the Street Crimes Unit responded to a tip regarding a man allegedly seen with a handgun in the area of South New Street, authorities said. Police described the source of the tip as being “a past-proven reliable informant … (who) provided an accurate description of his location and appearance.”

According to police, Mr. Fletcher ran from a Probation and Parole officer attempting to contact him on South New Street, and fled east through an alleyway connected to a parking lot at 120 South Governors Avenue. Upon emerging from the alley, police said, he was shot after being confronted by an officer who saw a gun in his hand.

As a crowd of several dozen onlookers grew in the 100 block of South New Street in the shooting’s aftermath, tensions rose and two men were arrested for misdemeanor disorderly conduct. Police said outside police agencies and various community leaders were helpful in calming the crowd.

Mr. Fletcher was charged with carrying a concealed deadly weapon and possession of a firearm by person prohibited.

According to Dover Police he was a fugitive from a West Virginia felony case.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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