Awards presented to officers involved in shooting
BELOIT TOWNSHIP Town of Beloit officer Jeremy Duncan was the first backup officer to arrive at the scene of a shooting in the parking lot of Rex Lanes bowling alley, 2547 Park Ave., just before 2 a.m. Nov. 6.
He faced a chaotic situation with a large and angry crowd surrounding a wounded suspect and Sgt. Richard Felger, who had been shot in the leg, Police Chief Steve Kopp said.
"He just did a very commendable job in trying to provide aid to the wounded suspect and keep the crowd back and safeguard Sgt. Felger," Kopp said.
The actions by Felger and Duncan early that morning earned them department awards, which were presented at the town's annual meeting Tuesday night. Felger, who has recovered from his injuries, was awarded a purple heart for his injuries, and Duncan received a department commendation, Kopp said.
After an extensive investigation, Rock County District Attorney David O'Leary ruled in December that Felger acted "lawfully and in accordance to his duty" when he shot and killed a Rockford, Ill., man.
Darryl Cooper, 26, was "shot and killed by Sgt. Felger as a direct result of Cooper's own actions," O'Leary concluded.
Felger was shot in the leg, while Cooper was shot multiple times. O'Leary commended Felger for his actions in preventing further loss of life.
The gunfire started when Cooper shot three times and injured a person Cooper had gotten into an altercation with earlier, according to news releases. Felger, on patrol in the parking lot, confronted Cooper and twice ordered him to show his hands. Felger pursued Cooper as he ran around vehicles. Cooper turned toward Felger, pointed a semi-automatic handgun at Felger and fired six shots at the officer.
When Cooper opened fire, Felger returned fire.
Felger, an eight-year veteran of the department, underwent multiple surgeries and returned to work about a month ago, Kopp said.
At the time of the incident, Duncan had just finished field training and had only been on his own on patrol for two weeks, Kopp said.
"We felt that his actions that day were worthy of a department commendation," he said.