Man Dead After Standoff In Chartiers Township

By: Mary Robb Jackson

CHARTIERS TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – A standoff in Washington County lasted for 12 hours and the ending was not what police were hoping for.

“As long as there’s dialogue, there’s always hope,” said Detective Lt. Rick Sethman of the Pennsylvania State police.

However, hope ran out for Joel Cook inside his McClane Farm Road home in Chartiers Township Friday morning.

The 47-year-old man – depressed and unemployed – began arguing with his wife after Thanksgiving dinner around 11:15 p.m. Thursday. He threatened to get a weapon.

Cook’s wife and son both escaped from the house safely, but the standoff had begun.

In the early morning hours, Chartiers Township Police called in the State Police Special Emergency Response Team and an armored vehicle.

Negotiations began with Cook by phone at 4:30 a.m. with police playing tape recorded messages from his family pleading with him to give up.

“That dialogue lasted for approximately two-and-a-half hours on and off,” Sethman said.

At 10:30 a.m. the talking stopped and all attempts at communication failed.

Using flash-bang grenades as a diversion tactic, State Police went in.

“Approximately 11:20 this morning, 13 members entered the house and found the subject deceased,” Sethman said.

Chartiers Township Police and the Washington County Coroner are still investigating.

Stay with KDKA for the latest details.

  • Paul A Spinnenweber

    I can believe how dispondent this poor man was. It is a shame that he took his own life. I have been unemployed for 2 years now and in February I face eviction after my benifits run out. At 59 years young i can not get a job. with over 30 years experieince. How do we explain and justify this?

  • Mike

    They had better do something about extending the unemployment or there is going to be a lot more of this.

  • John Chadderton

    Whiskey, don’t you think if there were jobs out there to get they would? WAKE UP, DUMB BUTT!

  • Ashley

    I knew this guy’s daughter. It’s really a shame what happened to him. My prayers are with his family and i urge you all to do the same.

    • chris

      Ashley, I am sorry for the family, its very tragic. I am glad that he did not hurt his children or wife. I am a former police officer, my father mistrusts police and believes that they caused Mr. Cook to take his life He thinks that they should have left him alone. I have tried to explain this from a police perspective. Because you knew this family, do you have any thing to say to this?

  • elaine


  • johnnykov

    Where I work they are bringing in college grads as temporary workers to do jobs that you don’t need college to do. These temps are afraid to leave mommy and daddy and move to another state to get jobs in their field and use their degree. So they work double hard to try and out-perform the regular workers so that they can get hired and the regular worker will be eliminated

  • bernie

    My heart goes out to the family and all the police and emergency personnel that were trying to help. Holidays can bring out depression and domestic disputes but apparently someting more important was going on while this situation was happening- BLACK FRIDAY, It was frustraing for people who knew this was going on to constantly hear the senseless reporting of the parking lot situations when someting very serious was happening in the little community of Chartiers for nearly 12 hours. Unemployment is real and it is something that can happen to any of us at any time. We should not think we are above this. Again my heart goes out to the family.

  • me

    Yes, some of the people probably are lazy, but some are having a really hard time finding a job. You are calling them lazy, but yet you have the a name of “whiskey6” . Doesn’t that seem strange?
    Horrible things happen and the best thing to do is to pray for the family. They are in a bad situation and I hope and pray they will be OK.

  • whiskey6

    who cares

  • anon

    wow whiskey6 that is the rudest thing i think i have ever seen. i am friends with the boy mentioned in the article and that is just sick what you keep saying. obviously mr. cook was sick and needed help, when you are depressed you just can’t help these things. just because he was unemployed doesn’t mean he is lazy. you don’t know his life!!! one of my family members commited suicide and it is not an experience ANYONE should ever have to go through. wow you really should just shut your mouth and grow a pair you insensitive jerk.

  • littlemonster13

    whiskey6 your an A$$

    i know the mr.cooks son AND daughter, and for you to say he is lazy is disrespectful and RUDE! depression doesnt make you lazy…it makes your brain not operate the way it should.

    your name is whiskey6? im guessing your a big drinker? but hey i dont know your life, just like you didnt know MR.COOKS!


  • littlemonster13

    and anon iam sorry for your loss also, PRAY FOR THE COOKS!

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