CULPEPER, Va. (WUSA) - Two shots were enough to blow out the window and release fingers that were trapped in the Jeep Wrangler's window. The shots only wounded 54-year-old retired cosmetologist and housewife Patricia Cook.
It was the five other shots that then Culpeper police officer Daniel Harmon-Wright took at the fleeing Jeep which killed Mrs. Cook. Those are the shots that Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Fisher is focusing on in the murder trial.
Fisher says witnesses say there was a pause between the first two shots and the rest of them. In enough time for Harmon-Wright right to stop shooting.
But Harmon-Wright's attorney Daniel Hawes says the reason he kept shooting wasn't self-defense , it was to protect others. "She was bent on destruction and he stopped her the best way he could."
Fisher revealed new information today about the Mrs. Cook. He said that Patricia Cook , who sat in a school parking lot in her Jeep Wrangler with the sun screen over the entire windshield, was first asked to leave by the school administrator. When she refused, police were called.
Harmon-Wright arrived and asked Mrs. Cook what she was doing. He says she told her she was waiting for friend.
He asked to see her ID. She held it up and he reached in through the window and tried to grab it. That's when she started rolling up the window.
Harmon-Wright said in a videotaped interview that the window caught his fingers and then Mrs. Cook started driving away. He said he had to jump on the running board to keep from being dragged. He said he kept yelling at her to stop and she kept saying no. He shot out the window to free his fingers and wounded her in the process.
The prosecutor says Harmon-Wright then paused, took a stance, and shot five more times as Mrs. Cook drove away. Evidence shows two bullets went through the back of the driver seat and another through the head rest.
"Those were the shots that killed this woman," said Jim Fisher. He called the shooting unjustified, excessive, illegal, and murder.
The jury saw the videotaped interview that was taken two hours after the incident. Harmon-Wright answers questions from a state police officer.
And it, he makes no reference of Mrs. Cook being a danger to others. He says "I started shooting, it was the only way I could get my hand out...so I shot her."
He said he was in danger.
In the video, Harmon-Wright seemed most concerned about what would happen to his family and his career because of what he did. He also mentioned being cited for using excessive force just months before the shooting of Patricia Cook.
In that incident, he used his gun to force his way inside a home to search for a teenage boy that someone said was suspicious. He pointed his gun at a resident of the home. It turned out, the boy in question was only walking to school.
Written by Peggy Fox, WUSA9