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State wants more info before releasing autopsy

February 27, 2007|by DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.VA. - Police might have to wait until the end of the week before they get preliminary results of an autopsy to help determine whether a man involved in a six-hour police standoff last week died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound or gunshots fired by police, a West Virginia State Police spokesman said Monday.

Sgt. Eric Burnett said officials with the state Medical Examiner's Office in Charleston, W.Va., requested more information from state police to help them make a determination about the cause of Dorsey Cox's death.

Among the information being requested are two crime scene photographs, Burnett said.

Police were called to 74 Orchard Drive in the Orchard Hills subdivision Feb. 19 for a burglary in progress, and Cox was observed taking toolboxes out of the house, West Virginia State Police said.

Cpl. Ronald Fletcher of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department met Cox in front of the home behind the Ranson Square shopping center at 10:13 a.m. Cox went into the house and Fletcher followed him inside, where he was shot, police said.

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Fletcher was rescued from the house but Cox would not leave, leading to a six-hour standoff with police.

Police eventually shot 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.

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