Standoff with former Jeffersonville Police officer ends peacefully Friday morning
A former police officer, armed with guns, barricaded himself inside a home and then talked to the media.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A former police officer, armed with guns, barricaded himself inside a home and then talked to the media.
After holding police at bay for several hours, Steve Cooper put the guns down, walked out of the home and right up to our cameras.
"Tonight was a breaking point, and I nearly put a bullet in my head," said Cooper.
Exhausted from an all-nighter and holding Sellersberg Police at bay outside his home, Former Jeffersonville Police Officer Steve Cooper had his days a little confused.
He said, "It is real and it is destroying my life."
Cooper said the standoff started because he suffers from post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, and has been struggling for a while.
"I wasn't homicidal, I wasn't going to hurt anybody else," he said. "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."
The standoff lasted for several hours. The house on West Utica Street in Sellersburg was surrounded by SWAT, snipers and the media. Cooper even called the WDRB Newsroom and then asked to speak to a WDRB reporter. Our reporter spoke to him and alerted police to the conversation.
"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," said Cooper.
Sellersburg Police Chief Russ Whelan was on the scene from the beginning and determined it would all end peacefully.
"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 -- and that's what we're doing now," said Chief Russ Whelan, with Sellersburg Police.
The standoff finally ended when Cooper and the chief agreed to put down the weapons and talk face-to-face.
Chief Whelan said, "I took mine off like I told him it was in the car and that was the -- me and him came to that agreement on the phone."
"So you walked in and got him?" asked WDRB's Stephan Johnson.
"Well, we walked out, kind of met in the middle, didn't we, Steve?" said Chief Whelan.
Other than cuts to his hands, Cooper left the scene in good physical health.
We reached out to our to a a psychiatrist with University of Louisville Physicians. Dr. Erik Goodwyn said Cooper's behavior is one of the characteristics of PTSD.
"That is not unusual, the symptoms come suddenly, and they can be very overwhelming, but then once the person gets kind of gets their head around the situation and then musters the reserves, they can calm down fairly quickly," said Goodwyn.
Cooper was eventually transported to a Louisville hospital. Right now, there are no plans to charge him with any crime.
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