WPD internal investigation reveals officer acted reasonably upon firing shot

WILMINGTON — The Wilmington Police Department Office of Professional Standards conducted an internal investigation into one of its officers, who fired a shot while responding to a Dec. 25 incident in the 700 block of S. 10th St.

Officers were called to a domestic dispute, when the caller informed them the 23-year-old suspect, Devante Malik Pugh, had fled to the 1000 block of Wooster St. The victim said Pugh choked her, pointed a gun at her, and threatened to kill her granddaughter who was around the corner at a house on Wooster.

When officers rounded the way, they found Pugh with the young victim. He refused verbal commands and entered the house; an officer followed and fired a shot from the doorway, which didn’t hit Pugh. The officer backed away from the door as others made verbal commands.

Pugh then exited the house and continued to ignore commands, when another officer deployed a taser so they could take the suspect into custody.

Pugh was arrested and charged with possession of firearm by felon, possession of marijuana less than one-half ounce, possession of marijuana paraphernalia, possession with intent to manufacture, sell or distribute a schedule II controlled substance, MSDP controlled substance within 1000 ft. of a park, assault on a female (two counts), assault by pointing a gun, and misdemeanor larceny

When officers searched the house, they found a revolver in the same area Pugh was standing when the officer fired.

WPD’s investigation found the officer acted reasonably under the given circumstances; the officer will return to duty this week.

“Law enforcement officers are often required to make split-second decisions under tremendous pressure,” a spokesperson for WPD informed. “In this case, the officer was faced with a potentially armed subject who had allegedly assaulted and pointed a gun at someone, as well as threatened to kill her loved one. When the subject repeatedly resisted commands and moved inside the house, the officer needed to act for the safety of those around him and himself. Our agency stands by his actions and those of the other officers on scene.”

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