News From Terre Haute, Indiana

July 3, 2013

UPDATE: Brazil man arrested after shooting in Fontanet

Lisa Trigg
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — A Brazil man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a shooting at Fontanet on Tuesday afternoon.

Brent Cooley, 46, allegedly went to the home of the 33-year-old victim as part of an ongoing dispute about a debt of $25, according to the Vigo County Sheriff’s Department. Cooley was arrested at a nearby Fontanet business to which he drove soon after the shooting. Vigo County Central Dispatch received the call about a shooting at about 1:30 p.m.

The victim, who resides in the 9100 block of Baldwin Street, suffered a cut and burn on his cheek from being grazed by the .45-caliber bullet allegedly fired by Cooley, said Chief Deputy Clark Cottom.

Cottom said that police have interviewed witnesses and determined that Cooley first went to a Fontanet tavern where he asked the patrons inside if they knew where the victim lived. The victim’s father happened to be in the tavern and had a discussion with Cooley, Cottom said. When the father of the victim left, he drove a few blocks away to his residence, where his son was on the porch. Cooley followed the father to that residence, Cottom said, and parked in the driveway of the home. Words were exchanged between Cooley and the victim, according to witnesses, before Cooley exited his pickup truck and allegedly pointed the handgun at the victim’s head and pulled the trigger.

The victim fell to the ground with a minor wound to his cheek, Cottom said, and the bullet then hit the residence, but did not injure anyone else. The victim was treated and released at the scene, according to police.

The victim’s father saw the shooting, Cottom said, and thought that his son was dead, so he confronted Cooley, who allegedly turned the gun on the father and threatened to also shoot him. A neighbor who heard the shooting saw Cooley holding the gun and said that he would call police, the chief deputy said. That is when Cooley left the scene and drove to the location where he was later arrested.

The victim’s father was not injured, police said.

Cottom said that police received a search warrant for Cooley’s vehicle, which was impounded. Police believed the handgun used in the shooting would be located inside the truck, he said.

After consulting with the Vigo County Prosecutor’s Office, Cottom said, Cooley was arrested on preliminary charges of attempted murder, criminal recklessness and pointing a firearm. He is expected to appear in court today for an initial probable cause hearing.



Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or  lisa.trigg@tribstar.com. Follow her on Twitter@TribStarLisa.