New York (CNN) — A Newtown, Connecticut, police officer haunted by the horrific images of the mass shooting at an elementary school there said Monday that he could lose his job after being diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder.
Thomas Bean, one of the first officers to respond to the December 14 shooting that left 26 dead, including 20 children, told CNN that he has contemplated suicide, continues to have flashbacks, and is left crying some nights by memories of the bloodshed.
“Nothing could prepare you for that,” Bean, a 12-year veteran, told CNN’s Susan Candiotti. “The worst possible scenes you could think of … Because all there was, was horror.”
Bean was diagnosed with PTSD and has not been able to return to work. Six months after the mass shooting, the officer — who responded to the tragedy on his day off — was placed on long-term disability, according to Bean and his union.
A letter from the police department, obtained by CNN, confirmed that he was “permanently disabled” but said he could be fired because Newtown could only afford to pay two years of long-term disability. He has a dozen years left on the job before being able to retire.
The union that represents Newton police officers may file a lawsuit.