Former Jeffersonville police officer surrenders after standoff in Sellersburg
The former Jeffersonville police officer says suffers from PTSD and never intended to hurt anyone but himself.
SELLERSBURG, Ind. (WDRB) -- An armed man who barricaded himself inside a home on West Utica Street in Sellersburg early Friday has surrendered.
Sellersburg Police Deputy Chief Mark Levesque says officers were called about 2:30 a.m. to check on a man in the home that might be suicidal.
The man, identified as Steven Cooper, surrendered around 9:15 a.m. He says he is a former police officer with the Jeffersonville Police Department and wants to expose corruption.
After holding police at bay for several hours, the man inside the home -- now identified as Steve Cooper -- actually put the guns down and walked right up to our cameras and held an impromptu press conference to explain why this all happened.
"Tonight was kind of a breaking point for me," Cooper said. "We had some conversations, and they went awry, and I got depressed and and had some liquid courage and got to the point that I was thinking that maybe it's time to end my life."
But instead of ending his life, Steve Cooper, a former Jeffersonville Police officer, walked out of his house. Cooper says he left the Jeffersonville Police Department in August and has been struggling ever since.
He blames his struggles and what happened Friday morning on post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.
"It's real," Cooper said. "And it's destroying my life. So tonight I had a little bit of a breakdown, I wasn't homicidal, and I wasn't going to hurt anybody else; yeah, I was barricaded in my house, yes, I have an armory of guns but the guns weren't directed at any one particular person but myself."
We spoke with Sellersburg Police Chief Russ Whelan, who was on the scene since 3 a.m. Whelan tells us he spoke with Cooper several times during the standoff, and that he "obviously has a story he wants told and I’m trying to actually help him get that story out there. I’ve got bits and pieces of it but I’m still actively working on that...
"Being the chief, I had the say so of what went on and I gave Steve my word that I wasn't sending them in and we were going to talk," Whelan said.
At one point, Whelan told us Cooper asked to speak with WDRB reporter Sitarah Coote. That's when Cooper said he was a 12-year veteran of the Jeffersonville Police Department and that he wants to expose some things he saw while on the force that he wished he hadn't seen. He said when he tried to speak up about it, he was blacklisted for it.
"I just wanted a voice to be heard mainly because if this stuff went bad and somebody shot me cold blood dead in the street, I wanted it on video," Cooper said.
The standoff ended when Cooper and the chief agreed to put down their weapons and talk face to face.
"I took mine off like I told him, it was in the car we walked out ... we kind of met in the middle, didn't we, Steve?"
Other than cuts to his hands, Cooper left the scene in good physical health.
Stephan Johnson[00:57:53]:"We talked to the police chief here in Sellersburg, he says after getting something to eat, Cooper was transported to a Louisville hospital. Right now, they don't expect to file any charges in the case. In Sellersburg, I'm Stephan Johnson, WDRB News."
After Cooper surrendered, he was taken to get something to eat before being checked into a Louisville hospital. Right now no charges are expected to be filed against Cooper.
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