Officer fatally shoots drug suspect in city


August 05, 2006|By SARA NEUFELD

A man was fatally shot by a police officer in Cherry Hill last night after running away from officers interrupting an apparent drug deal, police said.

The identities of the man and the officer who shot him were not immediately released.

Four officers were driving in Cherry Hill shortly after 8 p.m. when they encountered what they believed to be a drug transaction on Cherryland Road, said Officer Nicole Monroe, a Police Department spokeswoman.

The man took off on a mo-ped, and the officers pursued him in the cruiser, Monroe said. The man abandoned the mo-ped in the 600 block of Roundview Road, where he ran down a dirt path leading to a dark alley.

One of the officers caught up with the man before the others, Monroe said. The officer, believing the man was armed, feared for his safety and shot multiple times, hitting the man in the chest, she said.

The man was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was pronounced dead. Narcotics were found on him but no weapon, police said.

As is customary in police-related shootings, the officer involved was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, Monroe said.

Police officials said the man had a long criminal history, including 11 arrests on drug charges and charges of robbery, possession of a deadly weapon and battery. He was on double probation, with one set to expire in July 2008 and the other in September 2008.

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