“I thought I had my practice gun. Why did I do that?’ Retired officer charged in library shooting

A retired DC police lieutenant has been charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of a library cop killed during a training exercise.

The shooting of a special police officer during a training exercise at a DC library came as the group of trainees gathered for a photo and were “joking around”, according to court documents.

Maurica Manyan, 25, interrupted the shoot to remove her face mask, her classmates teased her, then the instructor, Jesse Porter, 58, pulled his gun from its holster and shot her in the chest, according to monitoring. video of the incident described in the documents.

“I thought I had my practice gun,” Porter, a retired police lieutenant, told the first responding officer at the library on Good Hope Road on Thursday afternoon. “Why did I do this? Is she okay?”

Manyan, of Indian Head, Maryland, was rushed to hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Porter, who led the training as a private contractor, was arrested on Friday and is now charged with manslaughter in Manyan’s death.

Several other trainees and Library Police members attending Thursday’s training session told investigators that the group had teased Manyan all day that she was not ready for various tasks.

Earlier in the day, after Manyan made a funny comment, Porter pointed an orange practice gun at her to simulate shooting her, one of the trainees told police.

The trainee said Porter “seemed to play” and that Porter is often playful to “not make practice dry”.

Thursday’s training session involved de-escalation, the use of ASP batons and handcuff training. There were also several brightly colored plastic practice pistols, and earlier in the day the trainees observed Porter replacing the firearm in its holster with one of the plastic practice models.

Some of the trainees said they did not actually see Porter fire his gun. One of the witnesses said that after Manyan interrupted the shooting, Porter raised his hands and said something like “here we go again”, before the witness reported hearing the shot.

Investigators said in court documents that surveillance video shows Porter shooting Manyan in the chest after the group huddled for the photo.

Immediately after, the video shows Porter and others administering CPR on Manyan and Porter “appeared upset and remorseful,” according to the documents’ account.

Porter was taken to the DC Police Homicide Branch but refused to answer detectives’ questions.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for September 1.

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