Standoff suspect's father says his son was mentally ill - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Standoff suspect's father says his son was mentally ill

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Sellersburg, In (WDRB) -- The family of the suspect in yesterday's SWAT team standoff in Sellersburg is speaking out. The family says he was battling bi-polar disorder and possibly other problems.

31-year-old Josh Priddy's father, a retired law enforcement officer himself, says he is saddened by the loss of a K-9 officer and the injury of a Clark County detective, but his son had been crying out for help for some time.

"There is no excuse for what happened yesterday, but there is a reason for it. He didn't just say I want to go crazy and shoot somebody," said Howard Priddy.

Josh Priddy worked with the Louisville Fire Department for 12 years. The fire department says he was eventually let go in 2012 for not showing up to work. Priddy's father claims the fire department and the union, Local 345, did not get his son help in time.

"He asked for help from the fire department, they eventually kicked him out the door," said Priddy. "If they truly cared about their fire fighters, they would have recognized that my son was having mental issues."

A fire fighter who worked with Priddy at the Louisville Fire Department contacted WDRB and although he wanted to stay anonymous, he said multiple people begged Priddy to get help on multiple occasions.

For those who live in the neighborhood where Priddy eventually got into a stand-off with police, it was a terrifying 10 hours. Authorities say they were called to a house on Iowa Street on reports of a domestic. When police showed up at the home, Priddy pointed a gun at the officer and a foot chase ensued.

"Our kitchen cabinet was broken off with the force of who ever kicked it in, and his pants were lying on the kitchen floor," said Ron Worman. Worman came home yesterday afternoon to find his house in disarray and multiple items on the floor, including a container for ammo clips. "[The cops] then tried to call over to the next street to let them know that this guy had more ammo on him than they thought."

After breaking into Worman's house, police say the foot chase continued.

Priddy eventually found refuge in a house on Delaware Court, where multiple cans of tear gas were still on front lawns by Tuesday morning.

"One guy said he had been on the force 41 years and had never seen ten cans of tear gas shot has and not have the guy come out," said neighbor Donny Bowers.

Sellersburg Chief of Police Russ Whelan says through interviews with the suspect following his arrest they learned that the suspects gunfire was no mistake.

"He heard where we were at and was shooting rounds that way and if he was lucky to hit one of us, we would turn our attention to them and he would have time to escape through a window."

Priddy now sits in jail facing multiple felony charges, including attempted murder of a police officer.

As for Detective Proctor, he was shot in the back of the knee and got out of surgery just a few hours ago. Sheriff Danny Rodden said he is doing well.

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