Father of standoff suspect says Fire Dept. let his son down - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Father of standoff suspect says Louisville Fire let his son down

Howard Priddy Howard Priddy
Joshua Priddy Joshua Priddy

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – The father of the man in the center of a standoff for nearly 10 hours said his son suffered deep depression and had a mental breakdown.

Josh Priddy, 31, a former Louisville Fire Fighter, was taken into custody after he peacefully surrendered late Monday night.

Priddy's father, Howard Priddy said he has lot of guilt and fells helpless, but he said he is mostly angry because he feels that his son was let down by the Louisville Fire Department in a time when he needed help the most. 

"Two weeks ago, I went up and talked to him, he's losing his house, so I gave him what little money I had and hopefully he could find a place to live in and you could see in his eyes that he wasn't there," said Priddy. 

While at work on Monday Priddy got the call that his son Josh was the center of a SWAT standoff in Sellersburg. It was an especially difficult situation for him to watch unfold because he is a retired Louisville Police Officer who spent two decades on the force. 

He said he believes his son did not want to shoot to kill, despite the more than 30 rounds exchanged between Josh Priddy and police throughout the day. "I think maybe at that point he wanted to do a suicide by cop, if he would wound him, he wouldn't hurt the cop too bad," said Priddy. 

Police said Josh Priddy shot and killed ISP K-9 officer, Kilo, and shot and injured Clark County Detective Chris Proctor. 

Priddy said he started to see change in his son about two and a half years ago and urged him to get help. He said his son has bi-polar disorder and may be schizophrenic, which runs in his family. Priddy said he's not sure what kind of medication he was on, but believes he did take anti-depressants.  

"In just my opinion the combination of the stress of being a fire fighter and a command position and a lot of friction from the higher command just cracked him and he ended up having a meltdown," said Priddy. 

Before that he said Josh Priddy had a promising career as a fire fighter named the youngest sergeant at 21 years old and was quickly promoted to captain, but just shortly after he was demoted.

"Right after that Joshua hit severe depression he had to take a year off," said Priddy. "He was going to the Chaplain for help and asking people for help."

Then in December of 2011, his mother passed away. Priddy said Josh asked the fire department for more time off and he thought he had it approved, but was fired last year for not showing up to work.
Priddy said the fire department let his son down and did not answer his cry for help. "I'm use to the police department, we're close rank, we help each other, the fire department just kicked his ass out," said Priddy. 

A spokesman for the Louisville Fire Department was not able to comment Josh Priddy's situation.

Howard Priddy said he does want all the agencies involved in his son's standoff to know that he is grateful for their hard work and he is sorry a K-9 officer was killed and a deputy detective was shot.

Copyright 2013 WAVE News. All rights reserved.

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