Rutland police officer found dead in Indianapolis
RUTLAND, Mass. (WHDH) -- Rutland police are mourning the death of an officer, who was found unconscious in an alley in Indianapolis and later died at a hospital.
Officer Sean P. Cooney, 27, was found early Friday morning in downtown Indianapolis.
“He had a great Irish wit about himself, always smiling and happy, always good to see…always ‘What can we do for you today’ type of guy,” said John Harrity, a family friend.
He was the youngest of three boys who lived with his parents in Worcester.
“All we know is he was found in an alley with severe blunt-force trauma to the head,” said Chief Donald Haapakoski of the Rutland police department.
Rutland police said Cooney was in Indianapolis to pick up a boat and a motorcycle that were left to him by a close friend who died a month ago.
Rutland police chief said this is the first time the department has lost an active-duty officer.
“This hit us pretty hard,” said Haapakoski. “Sean was an excellent officer.”
“We lost a brother and a friend and the community lost someone special to them,” said Sgt. Nick Monaco of the Rutland police department.
Monaco was Cooney’s field training officer and friend. He also took the overnight call from Indianapolis police.
“I couldn’t even believe that he said those words and still really hasn’t sunk in yet,” said Monaco.
Cooney had been a dispatcher for three years and was recently appointed to the position of police officer, according to local officials. Since February, Cooney has worked as a part-time officer. He also worked as a court officer.
Rutland’s police chief said with a 14-person department everyone knew Cooney well. They said he was always upbeat and compassionate.
“This was his dream. This was his dream to get into law enforcement,” said Haapakoski.
“Sean’s personal life has been based on him helping other people out. He’s just a kind-hearted man. He’ll go out of his way to help anybody do anything,” said Monaco.
Officials in Indianapolis continue to investigate the incident as a death, not a homicide at this point. Police said they have a person in custody that they are questioning as a person of interest.