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Deputy who was shot still hospitalized

February 28, 2007|by DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Cpl. Ronald Fletcher's homecoming has been delayed.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Department deputy was not allowed to return home Tuesday as expected because of breathing difficulties he was experiencing at Washington (D.C.) Hospital Center, Jefferson County Sheriff Everett "Ed" Boober said.

Hospital officials want to complete tests on Fletcher to make sure his breathing is OK before he returns home, Boober said.

It was decided that Fletcher would be held Tuesday night at Washington Hospital Center and his condition would be reassessed today, Boober said.

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Fletcher was shot after he responded to 74 Orchard Drive in the Orchard Hills subdivision on Feb. 19 for a report of a burglary in process.

Fletcher's expected return home Tuesday was eagerly awaited by his friends and co-workers. Members of police and fire departments in the county were invited to gather at Fletcher's Charles Town home to greet him, Boober said.

The shooting took place after a man at the Orchard Drive house identified as Dorsey Cox was observed taking toolboxes out of the house, West Virginia State Police said.

Fletcher 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.

It is believed that Fletcher was shot three times in the upper torso.

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.

Police are awaiting final autopsy reports on Cox.

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