Skip to comments.UPDATED: Widower of woman shot by Culpeper officer found dead
Posted on 11/21/2012 6:07:18 PM PST by Altariel
The widower of the woman shot and killed by a Culpeper police officer on North East Street in February was found dead in his Friendship Heights apartment Tuesday, seven months after his wifes untimely death.
According to Virginia State Police, a maintenance crew who entered Gary D. Cooks apartment to conduct routine service for the apartment complex discovered his body. He was 62.
Preliminary findings of an autopsy by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Manassas revealed Cook died of natural causes, according to VPS spokeswoman Corinne Geller.
Culpeper County Sheriffs Office deputies responded to Cooks residence around 10:29 a.m. for a report of a deceased male. According to Geller, the CCSO contacted the VSP Bureau of Criminal Investigation Culpeper Field Office to handle the circumstances regarding the unattended death.
Yellow caution tape, Virginia State Police troopers, Culpeper County Sheriffs deputies and detectives flanked the apartment building of 1000 Friendship Way, forbidding onlookers from getting too close to the scene while they waited for a search warrant to investigate this case.
Cook filed a $5.35 million wrongful death lawsuit in May against former town police officer Daniel Wayne Harmon-Wright who stands accused in the shooting death of Patricia Ann Cook, Gary Cooks wife.
Harmon-Wright, 32, of Gainesville pleaded not guilty to the following charges: murder, malicious shooting into an occupied vehicle, malicious shooting into an occupied vehicle resulting in a death and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony in the shooting death of Patricia Ann Cook on Feb. 9 in downtown Culpeper. Meanwhile, Harmon-Wright, a U.S. Marine and Iraq War veteran, is free on $100,000 bond awaiting his jury trial in Culpeper County Circuit Court on Jan. 22 at 9:30 a.m.
Harmon-Wright, a five-year veteran with Culpeper town police, was terminated in June after formal charges were filed against him.
According to the Virginia State Police, Harmon-Wright responded to a report of a suspicious woman sitting in a Jeep Wrangler parked in the Epiphany Catholic Schools middle school parking lot in the 300 block of North East Street around 10 a.m.
Fauquier County Commonwealths Attorney Jim Fisher, special prosecutor in this case, described the encounter between Harmon-Wright and Cook as a brief struggle at the window of this particular motor vehicle, before she was shot several times.
According to testimony during Harmon-Wrights bond hearing in June, Harmon-Wright fired his department-issued Glock seven times two at the drivers side window behind which Cook was sitting, inflicting non-fatal wounds.
Harmon-Wright shot Cook in the head and back with bullets lodging in her brain and another fatal shot severing her spine going into her heart and lungs.
In May, Cooks widower, Gary Cook, filed a $5.35 million wrongful death lawsuit in Culpeper County Circuit Court against Harmon-Wright.
Two months later, Gary Cooks lawyers expressed interest in possibly expanding the wrongful death lawsuit to include Culpeper Police Chief Chris Jenkins and former chief Dan Boring, now a Culpeper Town Councilman.
Poor man. May he rest in peace.
The detectives may want to look into whereabouts of the accused killer, since he obviously benefits from the death of the opposing party in the lawsuit.
Define natural causes with a little more detail by an autopsy by a doctor.
Natural causes = shot three times in the back of the head
“Poor man. May he rest in peace”
The only comfort that I can take from this tragedy is that the man is now with his beloved wife. Little comfort, I know...
The next of kin can take up the lawsuit.
These are the jackboots the libs want to restrict gun ownership to.
To FR's resident boot lickers.....remember this the next time you are sitting in your car in a church parking lot.
It’s very convenient for the plaintiff in such a matter to pass away. Isn’t 62 a little young for natural causes as far as death? Did Mr. Cook have health problems?
Seems I recall from the original story that officer claims his arm was caught in the window when Mrs. Cook rolled it up, then driving away causing him to be dragged. Is this a correct recollection? I ask because some models of Jeep Wrangler don’t have side glass windows to roll up. They have snap out, flexible clear plastic panels.
This story smelled when it first came out and it smells worse now, imho.
Yep, this bears watching. It could be he died of grief, it could be he died of something more sinister.
Oh, DON'T go back! It's been ruined. It's overbuilt with strip malls and yuppie crap. I swear, the traffic is worse than midtown Manhattan all day long. Wouldn't be surprised if traffic was a factor in this tragedy.
I go down 29 (also uglied up) to 522 a few times a year. I used to love to stop @ Baby Jim's in Culpeper. But, the traffic makes it a nightmare. And pulling in & out of the lot is deadly.
Seriously. If you grew up there, it will break your heart.
Are you available to post a new thread . . . the verdict is in.
Patricia cook’s killer found guilty of manslaughter.
Sad, but I am glad his personal pain is now over.
Yes he did. trouble with his story is her Jeep had hand cranked windows. No way his arm was going to be caught by them
I’m shocked that the cop actually faced trial at all. Usually the “officer safety, I feared for my life” routine lets them skate. Now this piece of garbage needs to face an 18USC242 prosecution ao he can get the death sentence he so deserves.
He died of a broken heart.
Thank you for the ping.
Among many things my own father told me years ago, comes to mind now; that a county coroner's office should always be separate from a sheriff or city chief of police.
Better the extra costs, and yet another political office which can at worst contribute to shenanigans, than for those with the power to kill, to have power to easily cover it up.
We see in the original incident, the death of the woman, shot by the seeming badge-heavy LEO, an early turning away, and lack of support for that officer's actions by his own Department... so in regards to the woman's surviving husband's now recent death, I'd just as soon "trust" but still be able to "verify".
Such a (political) condition would be helpful to LEO organizations, in the long run.
It's funny though...every time I've mentioned the need to sheriffs or chiefs whom did not have a separate coroner's office, they always argued strongly against it, going so far as to keep fishing in the conversation long enough for mention of deliberate misdeeds and cover-ups that HAVE occurred at times & places in our nation, to inevitably surface. Most other natiosn or peoples under any form of government or power, has had a taste of government misuse of power along these lines, off-and-on throughout history. Of course when the conversation would get to that point they'd become offended (as I could easily enough foretell during those conversations was the aim or intent) and begin to paint me as the bad guy. Ok, it happened twice. That made me begin to see a pattern. They don't want the idea talked about. Riase the issue = face opposition, including stealthy but in-your-face ad hominem.
As soon as certain lines of challenge & questioning (by those in power) gets rolling, expect the results I've outlined. Which of course always makes me wonder...what are they hoping (or trying?) to hide?
In the instance of the widower, if not dying of natural causes, then what motivation could there by remote chance be, other than possibly some frustrated LEO not wanting anyone to benefit at a fellow LEO's further embarrassment, for it tarnishes other LEO's, too, both rightly, & apparently in the instance of the woman's death itself, quite wrongly, for no other officers were involved in that shooting, and AFAIK none tried to cover it up.
It would be difficult to imagine someone doing it just to save their own retirement bennies, but when push comes to shove along those lines, then that can be a powerful motivator, too. Municipal funds are tight nowadays.
But like I said or meant to say...I have no real reason to leap towards further mistrust, yet it would be nice to have those sort of concerns openly & honestly put to rest (by a fully independent, elected coroner) with the evidence open to public inquiry, just so folks can get into the habit of "looking over shoulders" and checking.
Hey, they "check" up on the rest of us, some reciprication is not only in order, but can build trust, as long as everyone, including the inquirers on either or both sides, is honest.
The fact the officer was an Iraq veteran may have something to do with it. I was a soldier(in training for special forces) who served during the first gulf war. Bizarre, “triggered” violent behavior is not uncommon in vets. It’s graciously called PTSD, but the side effects are sometimes more severe than are publicized. I remember one Marine in California who was scheduled to ship back to Iraq the following day, posting himself at a 711 with an AK47 machinegun, where he gunned down the responding detective. That video was suppressed, because they were doing heavy recruiting at that time. There was a Navy Seal who ran down the Las Vegas strip whacking people in the head with a pipe. My old team leader(an experienced SF officer) disappeared then showed up stocking cans in a grocery store in the Southwest, where he took up Reiki spiritualism and specializes in “forgiveness” and “healing”. I got out before I had to serve overseas, but almost everyone I know who went was affected. Just please investigate the war vet angle in this - we may discover some things we don’t want to admit.
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