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Reports on fatal shooting expected in coming weeks

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GINA R. HEINE
December 7, 2011
— Authorities are hoping to release reports before Christmas about last month's fatal shooting involving a town of Beloit police officer in a bowling alley parking lot.

The state Department of Justice plans to forward its completed investigation to Rock County District Attorney David O'Leary by Dec. 21, Town of Beloit Police Chief Steve Kopp said. O'Leary told Kopp he hoped to review the reports and issue a decision on whether any charges are warranted before the holiday, Kopp said.


State investigators had hoped to have the final report to O'Leary around Thanksgiving, "but it's taking a little bit longer than they anticipated," Kopp said.


Darryl Cooper, 26, Rockford, Ill., died, and Sgt. Richard Felger was injured after a shooting at 1:43 a.m. Nov. 6, in the parking lot of Rex Lanes, 2547 Park Ave.


According to authorities:


Felger was patrolling the parking lot as a large crowd was exiting the building. Felger heard gunfire as he walked through the parking lot. Felger saw a man with a handgun and confronted him.


The man fired at Felger, striking him in the left leg. Felger returned fire, incapacitating the man. Felger was able to call for additional assistance, and numerous officers from surrounding agencies and emergency medical services responded.


Felger underwent surgery at Beloit Memorial Hospital. He continues to recover at home, Kopp said, and a follow-up surgery last week went OK. He doesn't expect Felger to return to work before the end of January, he said.


Felger is an eight-year veteran of the department.


Cooper suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at the hospital.


Rock County Chief Deputy Coroner Lou Smit said Tuesday the autopsy confirmed Cooper died from a fatal bullet wound in the torso, but could not comment on any other bullet wounds.


The state Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation is leading the investigation with assistance from the Rock County Sheriff's Office and city of Beloit police.



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