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Culpeper officer shoots, kills woman

Friday - 2/10/2012, 11:53am  ET

WASHINGTON - A Culpeper, Va. police officer shot and killed a 54-year-old woman after an altercation Thursday morning.

Virginia State Police say a Culpeper officer responded to a call reporting a suspicious person sitting in a Jeep Wrangler in a church parking lot on North East Street at about 10 a.m.

As the woman -- identified as 54-year-old Patricia Cook of Culpeper -- was retrieving her identification, police say she suddenly closed the driver's side window, trapped the officer's arm and began driving away.

Police say the officer was dragged along with the vehicle, and shots were fired after the woman did not obey the officer's commands to stop. The Jeep then wrecked in the 200 block of North East Street.

Cook died at the scene. An autopsy will be performed on her remains.

Town of Culpeper spokesman Wally Bunker says the circumstances of the shooting are being investigated by Virginia State Police, and the officer, a five-year veteran, has been put on administrative leave. Culpeper police and the Culpeper County Sheriff's Office also are assisting in the investigation.

WTOP's Hank Silverberg contributed to this report. Follow Hank and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)