Ex-Jeffersonville cop says PTSD led to his suicidal standoff

Ex-Jeffersonville cop says PTSD led to his suicidal standoff
Published: Feb. 26, 2016 at 11:30 AM EST|Updated: Mar. 4, 2016 at 3:04 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SELLERSBURG, IN (WAVE) – A former Jeffersonville police officer won't face charges after he was the center of a several-hour standoff in his own home Friday morning.

This all played out along west Utica Street in Sellersburg.

Steve Cooper was a Jeff police officer for 12 years. During that time he was a SWAT sniper and undercover narcotics officer. He says he is upset with how his career unfolded after he said he opened up about suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Armed and barricaded for nearly seven hours, the standoff ended after Cooper walked out of his house peacefully to meet police.

"This was kind of a breaking point for me," he said. "I had some conversations that went awry and I got depressed and had some liquid courage and was just to the point where maybe it was time to end my life."

Family called police, concerned and tried to help.

Sellersburg Police Chief Russ Whelan started negotiations with Cooper, a man he once worked with, around 3 a.m. Friday morning.

"Steve's a friend and we had a lot of good conversations throughout the night," Whelan said. "That's what I told him, he's got a story to be told and I was trying to convince him all morning that he has to be there with us to get that story out there."

[OTHER NEWS: Man shot at fast food restaurant in Elizabethtown]

Cooper agreed to surrender, but wanted to talk with the media. He told reporters he has been diagnosed and is being treated for PTSD after his work with the Jeffersonville Police Department.

He says it all started after he was first to the scene in 2009 at a Motel 6 where two Jeff officers were shot and injured.

"I did everything I could to help save the officers and from that point on it was a downward spiral," Cooper said.

He says the politics of the job caused internal stress, pushing him to self-medicate, mostly with alcohol. He walked away from the job last year.

"I had a little bit of a breakdown, I wasn't homicidal, I wasn't wanting to hurt anybody else. Yes, I was barricaded in my house. Yes, I have an armory of guns, but the guns weren't directed at any particular person, but myself," Cooper said.

Whelan said Cooper agreed to go to a hospital to get help after the media interview and meeting with his family.

Copyright 2016 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.