BELTSVILLE, Md. — Maurica Manyan's friends and family members gathered around a makeshift altar on a basketball court at Beltsville North Park just three days after the 25-year-old library police officer was killed following a training at the Anacostia Library in Southeast D.C.
Attendees were asked to bring white and red balloons that were released into the sky as people yelled, "Long live Maurica!"
Radcliffe Manyan, Maurica's brother, spoke to the crowd saying, "She was my best friend. She was like my twin we were like inseparable."
He shared that Maurica had recently purchased a home and a car. She leaves behind a 4-year-old son.
"I looked up to her. There was no one more positive. A better heart. She'd do anything for you. I can't describe how much I miss my sister," said Radcliffe Manyan as his mother embraced him.
MPD said Thursday that around 3:30 p.m. there was a shooting on the lower level of the library on Good Hope Road Southeast. A retired lieutenant that was hired by the D.C. library system to conduct ASP Baton training, took out a weapon and fired a shot, striking Special Police Officer Manyan.
Jesse Porter, 58, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in her death, police said.
Charging documents indicate that the victim paused to take off her mask and adjust her hair for a picture, when Porter pulled the gun from his holster, pointed it, and then fired.
Witnesses stated that the trainer may have mistaken his real weapon for a dummy training gun.
According to one witness, Porter said, "I thought I had my training gun. Why did I do this? Is she OK?"
The Manyan family questioned Porter's actions during the Sunday night vigil. Leo Richards, Maurica's cousin says that the former lieutenant should be held to a higher standard considering his experience as an officer, and his business.
"What was his purpose of even pulling the gun out in a training? It didn't matter that they had dummy guns," Richards said. "There was no threat, there was no need for a weapon and why pull the trigger?"
The court released Porter on Friday under a personal promise that he would appear for his next court appearance on Aug. 24, and he was asked to turn in his firearms. Prosecutors did not oppose the judge's decision.
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