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

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My thanks to all who have shown appreciation and consolation for family members of William "Bill" Fletcher. I am Daniel R. Wayman, Mabel (Fletcher) Lass' grandson through her third daughter Mildred (Lass) Harvey. Very little was ever said after Uncle "Bill" was murdered in West Palm Beach, Fl. I was fourteen and living with my grandmother April 6, 1967. She went to the funeral in Florida which was broadcast nationally on television. At that time very few officers lost their lives in such horrific circumstances. To me, he was a picture of her brother in uniform hanging on the family room wall. I've since learned a great deal about who he was and how he met his death in the career he loved. He was her "baby" brother. She often visited him in Florida and I have family 8 mm of those visits. I am proud to be his grand nephew and I have often spoken of his ultimate sacrifice to my children and friends. I've also served as a teacher in Orlando, Florida. There, I shared his life and death with students and fellow teachers. Currently, as it has become a bone of contention among "victims" of police behavior, I feel grounded in my support of/for a policemen's unselfish dedication in providing services to law abiding citizens. I give my undivided thanks and support for officers and family members who are on the line each day. Relatedly, I have taught children of law enforcement officers. Therefore, I know first hand what their dedication means to us and those they leave behind.

Daniel R. Wayman

Grand Nephew

Daniel R. Wayman-retired teacher
Orange County Public Schools, Orlando, Fla.

May 22, 2022

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