Wounded deputy recovering

recalls shooting, rescue

February 23, 2007|by DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.VA. - Cpl. Ronald Fletcher of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department can recall the details surrounding the shooting attack on him in an Orchard Hills subdivision home earlier this week and has been able to talk with his colleagues, although he is weak, Sheriff Everett "Ed" Boober said Thursday.

Boober said Fletcher remembers the string of events, including when two area police officers pulled him from the house after he was shot.

Fletcher has talked about the incident in conversations with fellow officers, Boober said.

"He's indicated to them he remembers everything that happened. (There's) no loss of memory," Boober said.

Fletcher remained in serious condition at Washington (D.C.) Hospital Center Thursday afternoon, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Fletcher was shot in the left shoulder and another section of his torso after he responded to a call at 74 Orchard Drive Monday morning claiming a man was trying to break in through a back door using a shovel.


Fletcher met the man, identified as Dorsey Cox, 37, of Ranson, W.Va., in front of the home about 10:13 a.m. Cox went into the house and Fletcher followed him; he was shot while inside.

Charles Town Police officer Sam Smith and Ranson Police Chief Bill Roper pulled Fletcher out of the house, but Cox would not come out, which led to a six-hour standoff with police. Police eventually fired tear gas canisters into the house and found Cox under a pile of clothes in a bedroom closet.

Cox fired a gun once, and a member of a West Virginia State Police Special Operations team returned fire "multiple" times, state police said.

It is not known whether Cox died from the shot he fired or the shots fired by the officer, and investigators on Thursday were still awaiting preliminary results of an autopsy to help them determine how he died, state police said.

Boober said Fletcher was still in the intensive care unit at Washington Hospital Center on Thursday and was doing breathing exercises to help increase his lung capacity. Both of Fletcher's lungs were damaged in the shooting.

Fletcher talks some, then rests, Boober said.

"They describe him as being very weak," Boober said.

But Boober said Fletcher's spirits seem high.

"It would (take) a lot to get his spirits down," Boober said.

Fletcher was described this week by friends and co-workers as a one-of-kind individual who always enjoys joking with his friends.

Officials say many officers with the sheriff's department and other departments have been visiting Fletcher this week.

Boober said officers often see each other on the highway as they drive to Washington to see Fletcher.

"It's just been a constant stream of people. There's a lot of reaching out here," Boober said.

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