Man Involved In Police Shooting Faces Charges

By: Venton D. Blandin
By: Venton D. Blandin

Two Charlottesville police officers were cleared of any wrong-doing after responding to a call where a suspect was shot.

The suspect at the time, Kerry Cook, who was later shot and critically wounded faces four charges after a grand jury found probable cause to justify the officer's force and indict Cook.

It was 11:19 p.m. Saturday night, August 21, 2004. A call reporting a domestic dispute came in to Emergency 911 from an apartment at Friendship Court.

Around 11:26 p.m., two police officers responded from separate locations, but arrived at the apartment at the same time to find a woman who had previously been drinking and socializing with Cook in need of assistance. Cook, also at the apartment, got into a scuffle with the officers.

At 11:28 p.m., one of the officers make a call for back-up, and two minutes later help arrived. However, shots were still fired by police at 11:31 p.m. within the home.

The physical contact ended when police shot Cook, leaving him in a coma.

Some members of the Friendship Court community questioned the need for opening fire, and on November 16, 2004, a special grand jury convened to investigate.

It took the grand jury 19 days, but they did not find probable cause to charge the officers, or the woman involved in the incident. They also determined that the arrest to be lawful. The grand jury found probable cause to prepare indictments against Cook for assault and battery on a police officer, attempted escape, and resisting arrest.

The officers involved were placed on administrative leave because of the shooting, and are expected to be back at work soon.

Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Long said, "the police department will follow recommendations from the grand jury on improving community relations with Friendship Court."

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