Virginia State Police say the Culpeper police officer who shot a middle-aged women, Thursday, did so because he was being dragged by the woman's car. 54-year-old Patricia Cook was killed by multiple shots fired by the officer.
Late Thursday morning, an unfamiliar vehicle driven by a woman appeared in the parking lot of the middle school building of Epiphany Catholic School in Culpeper. Police were called, and a town officer arrived to investigate.
Virginia State Police, who are conducting the investigation, say the responding town officer was conversing with Pat Cook, and, "while attempting to retrieve her identification, the woman suddenly closed her driver's side window, trapping the officer's arm and started driving away dragging the officer alongside. The officer repeatedly commanded the woman [to] stop the moving vehicle. She refused and shots were fired."
Cook's Jeep Wrangler wound up crashing into a utility pole about a block away. She was apparently dead at the scene.
Pat Cook's husband, Gary, is baffled by the explanation. Gary Cook said his wife's car had no power windows. "Crank [windows]," Cook explained, "old fashioned crank [windows]."
Culpeper Police have not identified the officer involved in the shooting, other than saying he is a five year veteran of the force. Witnesses have told reporters that the policeman fired his weapon multiple times. That's another puzzling issue to Gary Cook. "Why he would shoot a 54-year-old unarmed woman five or six times? I don't know. I can see shooting once for wounding. You know, to make her stop. But, five or six times?"
Pat Cook sometimes attended the Culpeper United Methodist Church, volunteering as an assistant in the children's religious education classes, according to Pastor Randy Orndorff.
Culpeper Town Police say the unidentified officer involved in the shooting sustained a "minor" injury in the incident. He is on administrative leave while Virginia State Police continue their investigation.
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