By BRADEN LAMMERS
Joshua L. Priddy, the man police say shot a Clark County police officer and killed an Indiana State Police K-9 on Monday, was a former Louisville firefighter who was fired last year.
Priddy, 31, of Sellersburg, who kept police at bay during a nearly 10-hour standoff Monday, faces preliminary charges of attempted murder and burglary, both class A felonies; and the class D felonies of mistreating a service animal resulting in death; pointing a firearm; criminal recklessness; and residential entry. He is scheduled to appear in Clark County Circuit Court No. 1 at 10 a.m. today, June 26.
Priddy, a New Albany High School graduate, was formerly a Louisville firefighter. He worked for the Louisville Metro Fire Department from 2000-12, but was fired for a failure to report for duty, said Louisville Fire Department Public Information Officer Capt. Salvador Melendez.
Before Priddy was fired, he was also dropped in rank.
“He was demoted from captain to sergeant, which was his rank when dismissed,” Melendez said.
However, Melendez said he did not know why Priddy was demoted as he had yet to receive Priddy’s personnel file. Priddy was last employed with Engine 12, on the south end of Louisville, off Manslick Road.
Priddy’s Facebook page included several long ramblings, many of which were posted in late May and early June. One post read: “Break the chains of your unhappiness by cognitively thinking every moment and immediately taking action. Never listen to the impulsive nature of your unconscious self.
“It has killed many and left more to die old, unhappy and full of regret ... choosing to watch TV, go out to eat, owning an iPhone or iPad, and then going to bed worried is no mystery. You have simply chosen lazy, easy and now over tired, happy and loved. Don’t waste the gift. But first you gotta wake up.”
Clark County court records also show that foreclosure proceedings had begun on Priddy’s home on Iowa Street. The Bank of New York Mellon had filed the action in Clark County Circuit Court No. 1 in September 2010. A default judgment was entered in April against Priddy that totaled $87,468 and the home was set for sheriff’s sale July 11. The order of sale was served to Priddy May 15, according to court records.
The incident began when Priddy’s wife called the Sellersburg Police Department seeking help for her husband who was suffering from “mental issues.”
When SPD Chief Russ Whelan and officer Drew LaMaster arrived on the scene, they discovered Priddy, armed with two handguns, in his neighbor’s yard near his home on the 800 block of Iowa Street in the Hill N’ Dale subdivision. As previously reported in the News and Tribune, Priddy had his two children with him during the initial incident.
Whelan said Priddy pointed his weapon at both officers, who took cover and told Priddy to drop the gun. Whelan added that Priddy made an anti-government comment, told police he knew why they were there and at that point left the children. The foot pursuit began and came to a head when Priddy barricaded himself at an unoccupied home at 712 E. Delaware Court.
Police say Priddy shot Detective Chris Proctor in the leg after a second round of gas canisters were fired into the home. He was shot shortly after 3 p.m., when police initially tried to enter the home about three hours into the standoff. Proctor was transported to University of Louisville Hospital with non life-threatening injuries.
Clark County Sheriff Danny Rodden said Tuesday afternoon that Proctor, who is also a SWAT team member, was performing SWAT duties outside of the home when Priddy began to randomly fire rounds through a window of the home. Rodden said Proctor is out of surgery and on his way to recovery.
Kilo, an ISP K-9, also was sent into the home early in the standoff and shots were fired. Police confirmed Monday evening the dog had been killed.
Priddy remained in the home owned by Jerry Kerstiens, according to Clark County property records. Messages left with Kerstiens were not returned as of press time.
Nearly 10 hours into the standoff, Priddy walked out of the back of the home and was taken into custody, at about 9:30 p.m. The state of the home on Delaware Court after Priddy surrendered was unlivable, Whelan said.