Friends of former Navy Corpsman Zach Chetwood are speaking up about the PTSD and mental health illness Chetwood has suffered as a result of his time in the service prior to his attempt of "suicide by cop."

Zach Chetwood, 31, of Cedar Grove, had his initial court hearing June 15, due to the officer-involved shooting in Cedar Grove on May 13. Chetwood did not have attorney representation at the hearing and entered a plea of not guilty to the following felony charges:

Aggravated Battery: when the assault poses a substantial risk of death (F3)
Battery w/ Bodily Injury to a Public Safety Officer victim is a public safety (F5)
Intimidation: Where def. draws or uses a deadly weapon (F5)
Criminal Recklessness (F5)
Pointing a Firearm at another (F6)

Chetwood will face a maximum sentence of 36 and a half years and a minimum sentence of six and a half years if convicted. 

In Indiana State Police Detective Grant Martin's probable cause affidavit, he states deputies responded to a 911 call from Chetwood, who stated he was suicidal and had a gun. Upon arrival, deputies ordered Chetwood to drop his gun several times. At the same time, Chetwood continued to tell officers to back up while pointing the firearm at the responding deputies. After several seconds, an exchange of gunfire ensued resulting in Chetwood sustaining a gunshot wounds to his abdomen and leg. No deputies were injured in the exchange.

Martin then interviewed Chetwood on May 18 at University Hospital in Cincinnati, where he was being treated for shots to the leg and abdomen. Chetwood acknowledged the following:

He called 911 because he had been contemplating suicide. He had a handgun that he pointed at the deputies with the intent to place them in fear. He fired roughly 10 rounds during the exchange because he hoped that the deputies would be compelled to respond with deadly force against himself.

Further, Martin noted throughout his investigation that he learned Chetwood had threatened to commit "suicide by cop" several times in the recent past to multiple individuals.

Friends and family were devastated by the news. But unfortunately, they were all too familiar with Chetwood's struggle with PTSD and mental illness. Friends and family hope he will get the help he desperately needs, as they know a very different side of Chetwood. 

"Zach is one of the most caring people I know," Arron Mcintosh, a former supervisor of Chetwood, said.   "He's helped me out several times. Most of the time, at the most inconvenient times, like the middle of the night. He had a bad night; it doesn't define who he is. He made a mistake of the mind, not of the heart." 

Chetwood served in the Navy for four years as a Corpsman and suffers from severe PTSD. 

"I think we have failed as a country to help our veterans suffering," Mcintosh continued. "He served our country in the United States Navy and went to war to fight for our freedom. In his job in the Navy, he served as a Corpsman. I have two Marine brothers who have served nearly 20 years, and both said Corpsmen are the best of the best and the reason many came home alive."  

When asked during the interview why Mcintosh was speaking out regarding Chetwood, he shared, "To bring awareness to the mental health illness our veterans deal with. Zach is a proud law enforcement supporter. I think we have failed as a country to help our veterans suffering. Ask anyone that's been to the VA how their experience was. They will tell you it's terrible. Long wait times, and they don't really care to help. Since COVID, the VA would only do video calls once a month (with Chetwood) to refill his medication," Mcintosh continued. "He needed to see someone face to face, and no one would see him. He had to go to the VA due to not having medical insurance."  

A pre-trial conference for Chetwood is set for Aug. 18 at 1 p.m. Chetwood is currently being held at the Franklin County Security Center without bond.