Police Officer William Harold Fletcher

Police Officer William Harold Fletcher

West Palm Beach Police Department, Florida

End of Watch Thursday, April 6, 1967

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William Harold Fletcher

Police Officer William Fletcher and Officer Richard Van Curler were shot and killed while responding to a disturbance at a local bank at 45th Street and Broadway.

The bank manager had called after hours to report a man pounding on the doors and yelling to be let in. After arriving, Officer Fletcher contacted the employees of the bank and then went to talk to the man who was still in front of the bank. The man continued to shout and cause a disturbance as Officer Fletcher tried to talk to him. Because portable radios were not used at the time, Officer Fletcher returned to his cruiser to call for backup.

As Officer Fletcher completed his transmission, the man began walking towards him and met him at the curb. The man then struck him and knocked him down. During the ensuing struggle, the man gained control of Officer Fletcher's revolver and shot him twice. At that moment, Officer Van Curler arrived on his motorcycle.

The man immediately opened fire, shooting through the motorcycle's windshield and striking Officer Van Curler in the chest. After walking over to Officer Van Curler, the man then attempted to shoot him again, but the gun was empty. He then took Officer Van Curler's weapon. Officer Fletcher had managed to get to his feet, but the suspect shot him again with Officer Van Curler's weapon, fatally wounding him. Other officers arrived on the scene and took the suspect into custody.

The suspect was committed to a mental hospital, where he later died.

Officer Fletcher had served with the West Palm Beach Police Department for 19 years. He was survived by his wife and two sons.


  • Age 57
  • Tour 19 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Died while in custody

disturbance, EDP

Most Recent Reflection

View all 17 Reflections

I have read many reflections of fallen West Palm Beach police officers over the past 56 years since my father, William (Bill) Fletcher, a West Palm Beach policeman was killed in the line of duty in April 1967. I deeply appreciate all who have taken the time to pay tribute to the fallen West Palm Beach officers who gave their lives to protect our city. The most recent reflection from Daniel R. Wayman was particularly touching to me as it shows how much he revered and continues to remember my father, a man he never met, 55 years after my father's death.

George A. Fletcher
Son of William (Bill) Fletcher, Palm Beach Gardens, FL

July 1, 2023

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