Delco man gets 33 to 100 years for shooting at police

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A Delaware County man was sentenced to 33 to 100 years in state prison on Thursday for shooting at two Folcroft Borough police officers, hitting one seven times, seriously wounding him.

Donte Brooks Island, 34, who officials said had shown a propensity for violence since he was a juvenile, pleaded guilty in May to two counts each of attempted murder, assault on a law enforcement officer and gun offenses in the 2016 shooting of Officer Christopher Dorman and for shooting at Officer David DePietro, who was not hit.

Island turned around and apologized to the two officers in the courtroom. “I was having a bad day. I was doing drugs,” he said, according to Deputy District Attorney Daniel McDevitt.

Jeanne Dorman, the officer’s mother, emotionally told Delaware County Court Judge Gregory Mallon how she almost lost her son, and District Attorney Jack Whelan asked the judge to send a strong message about how the public needs to be protected from people like Island.

It was just before 10 a.m. June 24, 2016, when Dorman, then a 25-year-old part-time officer, responded to the 1500 block of Elmwood Avenue for a report of a drug deal. Island, who lived in an apartment complex on that block, was outside and met the description given in a 911 call. After Dorman approached, he told Island he would pat him down, but Island pulled out a .40-caliber gun and shot the officer in the face.

In all, Dorman was shot seven times — once in his face, once in his groin, once in a leg, and four times in the chest. His life was saved by his bulletproof vest.

DePietro pulled up as the backup officer and began shooting at Island, who then fired at DePietro, but missed. Island fled, igniting a three-hour manhunt that drew more than 200 officers to the tiny Delaware County borough.

Dorman underwent multiple surgeries at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center in Philadelphia and was released after three days. He returned to work as a police officer three months later.

Island, whose attorney could not be reached immediately, had been arrested previously 10 times and was convicted eight of those times – five as an adult, three as a juvenile.

Starting on Oct. 22, 1994, Island, then 12 and living in West Philadelphia, was charged with robbing a 14-year-old boy at knifepoint in Upper Darby, stealing the victim’s jacket. He was later convicted.

As an adult, he was convicted of simple assault in Venango County, and of drug offenses in Philadelphia.

In 2003, Island was indicted in federal court for illegal possession of a firearm as a convicted felon. He was later sentenced to more than nine years in federal prison and was released in 2013. He was on supervised release when he tried to kill the officers.

McDevitt noted in a sentencing memorandum that 24 law-enforcement officers in the state have been fatally shot in the line of duty since 2007, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.

“These shootings and assaults demonstrate a disturbing trend,” McDevitt wrote. “Pointing and discharging a firearm at a law enforcement officer must be dealt with severely in order to vindicate the rule of law represented by law enforcement officers on the street.”

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