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‘I Thought I Had My Training Gun,’ Instructor Who Killed Officer During Training Was Playing With Gun

Washington, DC – The retired DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) lieutenant who fatally shot District of Columbia Public Library Office of Public Safety (DCPLOPS) Special Police Officer Maurica Manyan during a training session at the Anacostia Neighborhood Library last week said the tragedy occurred as they were “joking around” at the end of class, according to court documents.

Police said retired MPD Lt. Jesse Porter, 58, is now a professional instructor who conducts training sessions for current law enforcement officers, according to WJLA.

The incident occurred inside the library on Good Hope Road Southeast at approximately 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 4, WTOP reported.

MPD Chief Robert Contee said the department received a report of a shooting and responded to find a female DCPLOPS officer unconscious and suffering from a gunshot wound, according to WJLA.

She was rushed to an area hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.

The MPD identified the fallen hero as 25-year-old Officer Manyan on Friday, according to The Washington Post.

According to court documents, Porter told investigators that he and a group of approximately five trainees were “joking around” as they gathered to take a picture after wrapping up an Armament Systems and Procedures (ASP) baton training class at the library that day, WTOP reported.

Porter, who retired from the MPD two years ago, was the class instructor.

Just before they took the photo, Officer Manyan stopped them so she could remove her facemask, according to court documents.

As her classmates jokingly teased her, Porter pulled his gun from his holster and fired at her, striking her in her chest, WTOP reported.

The incident was captured by a security camera.

“I thought I had my training gun,” Porter told the first officer who arrived at the scene. “Why did I do this? Is she OK?”

The video showed Porter and multiple trainees as they administered CPR on the wounded officer immediately after the shooting, WTOP reported.

Police said Porter “appeared distraught and very remorseful,” according to court documents.

Others who participated in the training told police that Porter had pointed an orange training gun at Officer Manyan earlier in the day after the special officer made a funny comment, WTOP reported.

One witness said the instructor “appeared to be playing around” and that he often does so to “not make the training dry,” according to court documents.

Chief Contee said the instructor and trainees were all taken to the MPD’s homicide office for interviews, WJLA reported.

Porter declined to answer detectives’ questions, according to WTOP.

MPD Spokesperson Dustin Sternbeck announced on Friday that Porter has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with Officer Manyan’s death, The Washington Post reported.

His preliminary hearing has been set for Sept. 1, according to WTOP.

Chief Contee told reporters on Thursday that a full investigation is ongoing and that the initial findings are preliminary, but he noted that it is “not good practice” to have live weapons at training sessions, WJLA reported.

“I don’t have answers as to why the firearm was at the ASP baton training,” he said.

He said the incident was “tragic” and “unfortunate,” WTOP reported.

“My condolences to the family of the deceased library police officer and to their entire agency,” Chief Contee said.

CORRECTION: This article originally indicated Officer Manyan worked for the DC Metro Special Police Department. It has been corrected to reflect she was a member of the District of Columbia Public Library Office of Public Safety.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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