A police officer has been indicted in the fatal shooting of a Culpeper County woman.
A special investigative grand jury handed up a four-count indictment against 32-year-old Daniel Harmon-Wright. He is charged with murder, malicious shooting into an occupied vehicle, malicious shooting into an occupied vehicle resulting in a death, and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
The special investigative grand jury was convened at the request of the special prosecutor appointed to the case, Fauquier County Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Fisher.
"This special investigative grand jury heard from more than 45 witnesses, received more than 100 separate exhibits and were presented with reams of documentary evidence," said Fisher.
The incident occurred on February 9 in the 300 block of North East Street in Culpeper. Harmon-Wright responded to a report of a suspicious woman in a vehicle in a church parking lot. He approached the Jeep Wrangler of 54-year-old Patricia Cook, when, witnesses said, an argument broke out.
State Police said that Cook tried to drive away with the officer's arm trapped in the window, and he shot her when Cook refused to stop. Cook died at the scene.
The Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation's Culpeper Field Office's Police Shooting Investigation Team conducted the investigation at the request of the Town of Culpeper Police chief.
Mayor Chip Coleman released a statement:
"If the allegations brought forth in the grand jury indictments are proven to be true, we as elected and government employees are equally saddened and disappointed. We share in the community's outrage and concern regarding the alleged action of this one officer.
"It is important for us to realize that the alleged actions of one officer should not taint the hard work and dedicated efforts of the men and women who strive daily to protect our community and provide quality service to the public."
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