Special Grand Jury Sought in Culpeper Fatal Police-Involved Shooting

Victim allegedly drove away with officer’s arm stuck in window

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    A prosecutor wants a special grand jury to investigate a fatal shooting by a Culpeper, Va., police officer. News4's Julie Carey reports. (Published Monday, April 2, 2012)

    A prosecutor wants a special grand jury to investigate a fatal shooting by a Culpeper, Va., police officer.

    Special prosecutor James Fisher filed papers Monday asking the Culpeper County Circuit Court to impanel a special investigative grand jury. Fisher, the commonwealth's attorney for Fauquier County, was appointed by the court to handle the case after the Culpeper prosecutor recused himself.

    Officer Shoots Woman in Culpeper

    [DC] Officer Shoots Woman in Culpeper
    A Culpeper police officer is on administrative leave after a fatal shooting. (Published Friday, Feb. 10, 2012)

    "Given the heightened scrutiny and the fact that you have a police-involved shooting or a citizen, it's very important to be very thorough, very methodical and to leave no stone unturned," Fisher said.

    State police said an unidentified Culpeper officer shot Patricia A. Cook on Feb. 9 after she drove off with his arm trapped in her vehicle's window and refused his orders to stop. The 54-year-old Culpeper woman died at the scene.

    The shooting occurred after the officer responded to a report of a suspicious woman in a vehicle in a church parking lot.

    At least one witness has said the officer's arm was never caught in the window, News4's Julie Carey reported.

    The special investigative grand jury will have seven to 11 citizens, who will be questioned by a judge to make sure they are impartial and unbiased, Carey reported. The grand jury will have subpoena power to bring in witnesses and issue an idictment at the conclusion.

    "My goal is to bring in as many people as possible who can enlighten the jury on what happened that day," Fisher said.

    "One thing I hope that comes out is why he shot my daughter five times," Cook's mother, Carol Weigler. "I would like justice to be done. I think Pat deserves justice. She didn't get it in the parking lot."

    The grand jury is expected to begin in early May and reach a decision in late June.

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