Delco man pleads guilty to attempted murder in shooting of Folcroft officer

Christopher Dorman (center), the Folcroft police officer who was shot seven times as he responded to a call in June, was met by smiles as he thanked those who welcomed him home from the hospital a few days later.

A Delaware County man who shot a Folcroft Borough police officer seven times during an incident last year, seriously wounding him, pleaded guilty Thursday to two counts of attempted murder.

Donte Brooks Island, 34, also entered pleas to two counts of assault on a law enforcement officer and gun offenses in the shooting of Officer Christopher Dorman and for shooting at, but not hitting, another officer.

It was just before 10 a.m. June 24 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, had just offered to sell Xanax and marijuana to someone, Deputy District Attorney Daniel McDevitt said. 

After Dorman approached Island, who met the description given in the 911 call, he told him he would pat him down, McDevitt said. But Island struck Dorman, then pulled out a .40-caliber gun and shot the officer in the face.

Dorman retreated, but Island kept firing at him. 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.

Officer David DePietro, who pulled up as the backup officer, saw what was happening and began shooting at Island, McDevitt said. Island then fired at DePietro, but missed.

Island then fled, igniting a three-hour manhunt that drew more than 200 officers to the tiny Delaware County borough.

Dorman was saved, officials have said, by his bulletproof vest. He underwent multiple surgeries at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center and was released after three days. He returned to work as a police officer three months later.

Island is scheduled to be sentenced July 20 before Delaware County Court Judge Gregory Mallon, McDevitt said. He faces at least 20 years in state prison, with a maximum of 140 years, the prosecutor said. 

Since at least 2001, court records show, Island has been arrested several times in Philadelphia and its suburbs for dealing drugs, illegally carrying a firearm, and engaging in disorderly conduct.

He was released in 2013 after serving a federal prison sentence for illegal possession of a firearm.

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