Family's Home Damaged During Standoff

CRAIGSVILLE, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A shootout in Nicholas County that happened in July has haunted the family that lives next door.

Rick and Sonja Cool and their two children witnessed a lot that day.

It happened in Craigsville and lasted several hours.

John Evans was on his porch with a gun -- threatening neighbors.

Sonja called police and when they showed up, Evans shot two deputies. They're back on the job, but are still recovering.

However, police were forced to shoot Evans, who did not survive.

Through the whole thing, the Cool’s were innocent bystanders, and the damage to their home serves as a daily reminder of what they went through.

“It's hard enough on us, but when you start talking about the kids ...That's what's hard,” Sonja and Rick said.

They see a bullet hole above their 2-year-old son’s bed every night they put him to bed.

In fact, there are hundreds of bullet holes all throughout their home.

“It shot into our glass shower door, which just shattered it, and there was glass all over the floor,” Sonja said.

They walked into the mess after an entire day spent hiding in the woods -- listening to round after round of gunfire.

“We had several officers of different agencies that day stand here and tell us, 'Don't worry about the damage.’ They all but gave us a guarantee that it would be taken care of. We were naïve enough to think 'OK.' We almost expected someone to be on our doorstep Monday morning saying, 'What can we do to help you.’ ”

“We understand that there was supposed to be some sort of fund to compensate not only the Cools, but other neighbors. So far, no money from it,” attorney Kathy Brown said. “We don't care who compensates these folks. We just want them to get compensated so they can get their home fixed.”

Brown says repairing all of the damage will cost thousands of dollars.

“I feel like we've been forgotten,” Sonja said.

Brown has notified state police that she does plan to file a lawsuit.

A WVSP spokesperson says their legal team has been corresponding with Brown.

Because of that lawsuit, he is not allowed to comment on the situation.


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