The Washington Post

Culpeper police fire officer charged with murder while on-duty

Culpeper, Va., police fired the officer who is charged with killing a Sunday s chool teacher while on duty in February, town officials said in a statement.

Daniel Harmon-Wright, 32, was terminated on Tuesday after police completed an internal affairs investigation into the fatal shooting of 54-year-old Patricia Cook after he responded to a suspicious-person call. Officials provided no details of the department’s investigation.

Harmon-Wright, of Gainesville, was indicted in May on a murder charge and three weapons charges.

The shooting happened after someone called police when Cook parked her Jeep Wrangler into the lot of a Catholic school in Culpeper and reported a suspicious vehicle. The former officer claims he fired in self-defense after she trapped his fingers in the Jeep’s windows and began driving away.

Clarence Williams is the night police reporter for The Washington Post and has spent the better part of 13 years standing next to crime scene tape, riding in police cars or waking officials in the middle of night to gather information about breaking news in and around Washington.


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