ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (Dec. 30, 2021) – On Sat., Dec. 11 at approximately 9:20 am EST, the Kentucky State Police’s (KSP) Critical Incident Response Team was requested by the Elizabethtown Police Department to investigate an officer-involved shooting that occurred in Hardin County.
KSP has conducted all necessary interviews of vital witness and officers involved. At this time, KSP is able to release findings from the preliminary investigation, which reveals Elizabethtown Police Department Officer Detrick Cooper was assisting other officers on a call for service in the area of Wingfield Ct. in Elizabethtown. After completing the call for service, Officer Cooper observed a suspicious vehicle occupied by an individual in the area and proceeded to investigate with no other officers accompanying him. Officer Cooper made contact with Christopher Sterusky, age 29 of Radcliff, who was the lone occupant of the vehicle.
Officer Cooper interacted with Sterusky outside his vehicle attempting to verify his identity. During the interaction, Sterusky became uncooperative and attempted to get back into his vehicle. At that time, a physical altercation ensued between Sterusky and Officer Cooper. During the altercation, Sterusky produced a knife and attempted to stab Officer Cooper who then fired his agency issued firearm striking Sterusky.
As a result of the physical altercation Officer Cooper received non-life threatening injuries and was taken to Baptist Health Hardin by other Elizabethtown Police Department Officers.
Sterusky was pronounced deceased at the scene by the Hardin County Corner. An autopsy was performed by the state medical examiner’s office in Louisville.
In accordance with the Elizabethtown Police Department’s policies and procedures, Officer Cooper was placed on administrative leave for two weeks. Officer Cooper is a 6 year veteran of the police department assigned to field operations.
KSP has statewide jurisdiction and investigates officer-involved shootings throughout the commonwealth as requested by local law enforcement agencies. KSP is committed to being transparent while ensuring the integrity of the investigation. To protect the integrity of ongoing investigations, it is KSP standard operating procedure to not release any further details until the investigation has been completed. Timelines to complete investigations vary based on the complexity of the case.
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