CULPEPER, VIRGINIA – The husband of Patricia Cook, 54, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Culpeper, Virginia police officer who shot her to death on February, 9, 2012.
Gary Cook is asking for $5 million in damages from Officer Daniel Harmon-Wright (a/k/a Daniel W. Sullivan).
Patricia Cook was shot multiple times in her Jeep Wrangler in a parking lot of a school annex on North East Street in the Town of Culpeper.
The lawsuit, filed on May 11, 2012 in Culpeper County Circuit Court, says Officer Harmon-Wright carried through on his threat to shoot Mrs. Cook if she did not stop rolling up her car window and do as he demanded. It says he shot her at close range and continued firing at her as she attempted to depart.
The lawsuit says “Defendant Harmon-Wright did not have his hand or arm trapped inside the car window of Mrs. Cook’s Jeep at any time during this incident.”
It also says the officer was not dragged by Mrs. Cook’s vehicle and that he suffered no injuries as a result of Mrs. Cook’s actions. It says she did not user her vehicle as a weapon and did not try to strike or injure the defendant.
The lawsuit says, “When Defendant Harmon-Wright attempted to bully and coerce Mrs. Cook into complying with his commands by raising his voice and threatening to shoot her, she was lawfully entitled to refuse to comply with his commands and was was lawfully entitled to depart unharmed and unhindered.”
Virginia State Police first said that the officer fired in self-defense because she had caught his arm in her window and was dragging him. But an eyewitness told WUSA 9 News that he clearly saw the officer’s left hand on the door handle and his right on on his gun. The witness said that the officer’s arm was not caught as he yelled at the woman to stop. The witness said he was stunned when he saw the officer shoot and continue shooting as Cook drove away.