Mother Of Tulsa Veteran Doesn't Fault Police For Shooting Him
TULSA, Oklahoma - The family of a veteran who was killed by police believes he was having a flashback to his days of military service in Afghanistan.
Police say Cody Young was killed early Wednesday morning by 17-year police veteran Gene Hogan. Hogan is on paid administrative leave.
Young's family wishes their loved one would have received better mental health treatment after serving his country.
Cody Young's family is not upset with the police. They say the police were just trying to protect the neighborhood. But they say this tragedy is a sad example of why more attention needs to be paid to soldiers who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Sometimes, the eyes tell the story, a far-off gaze with thoughts only on Cody Young.
"You couldn't love him half as much as he loved you because it's just impossible," friend Mark Rothstein said.
"The most dependable, fun-loving person you could ever meet," friend Balay Hartman said.
"Still trying to grasp everything that's happened," mother Angie Young said.
Investigators say Angie Young's 22-year old son barricaded himself inside his apartment with a shotgun, eventually firing one round outside the window before being shot by police.
"I don't fault the police at all," she said.
Young served eight months in Afghanistan for the U.S. Army National Guard in 2011.
His mother says he was in a serious wreck during his deployment and suffered a traumatic brain injury.
She says he was eventually diagnosed with PTSD, but Angie Young says her son never got the proper treatment.
"Cause he would always tell me, 'Mom, I feel like something's wrong with me. I feel like something's wrong," she said.
Young said Cody's friends say he called them early Wednesday morning, said he had been watching a war movie and became more and more agitated.
Angie thinks the movie triggered his PTSD and he slowly lost his grip on what was happening around him.
"He had to be having one of his flashbacks to do something like that," she said. "I really think that he thought he was back in Afghanistan to do that."
Cody's friends are now left with stories of his days on the gridiron for the Edison Eagles, stories of always trying to teach his friend Balay how to line dance.
They say his life may have ended tragically, but they'll always remember their good friend.
"You can't forget Cody Young; it's impossible," Rothstein said.
The friends of Cody Young have a established an account through PayPal to help his family pay for funeral expenses. To donate log on to PayPal and direct your payment to firstname.lastname@example.org