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Officer describes fatal shooting of woman page 2
In murder trial, police interview of Culpeper officer doesn't explain why driver was in school's parking lot

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Date published: 1/24/2013


During the 40-minute taped interview, Harmon-Wright said after his initial, somewhat cordial, contact with Cook, he asked for identification. He said she produced her driver's license and, with her window rolled less than halfway down, held it up with both hands for him to see.

Harmon-Wright then told the investigator that when he reached in to get the license, Cook pulled it back and started rolling up the window, exclaiming, "No! You're not getting it!"

He said Cook then put the Wrangler in gear and started moving forward, with his arm trapped in the window.

"I told her, 'I'm gonna shoot if you don't stop!' but she replied, 'No, I'm not!' and kept moving forward," Harmon-Wright told Shively.

It was at this point, Harmon-Wright said, that he feared for his life and had to step on the Wrangler's running board to pull his arm free. It was then, he said, that he shot through the glass.

One bullet struck Cook in her face, in the area of her sinuses, Fisher said in his opening statement. Another bullet went through her upper left arm.

Those bullets, from a .40-caliber service weapon, did not kill Cook, Fisher added. It was two bullets that struck the woman from behind that proved fatal.

After the first shots, Cook drove south on North East Street, the sun visor still across her windshield obstructing her view.

"Then [Harmon-Wright] gets behind the vehicle and shoots at the rear," Fisher said. "One bullet hit her in the back of the head and came out her face, while another went through her spine and came out the front.

"This man shot this woman in the back."

Hawes, the defense attorney, told the jury that because the Jeep was traveling up the wrong side of East Street with Cook's vision totally obstructed by the sun shield, Harmon-Wright shot to protect the public.

Fisher also disputed Harmon-Wright's taped account of how the first two shots were fired. He said that when Cook pulled away, the officer "ran to catch up, grabbed the door handle, said, 'Stop, or I'll shoot!' and then yelled, 'F--- you! You're not getting away with this!'"

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