We’ll tell you why. It’s because things like this happen. Indianapolis’s Rod Bradway acted boldly and decisively — and received a fatal wound for his efforts. The guy who shot him was shot dead by Rod’s backup. The victim, who’d called for the cops’ help in the first place, was apparently not all that wonderful a person either: her kid wound up in the hellhole that’s Child Services, in Indiana or any other state.
Bradway forced his way into the room as the woman screamed for help. The man assaulting her — Steven Byrdo, 24 — shifted his target to Bradway and fired two shots. One knocked Bradway’s cap off, but the other enterd his chest above his body armor. He returned fire, wounding Byrdo, who was killed in a further exchange of fire with other cops.
Bold action was not out of character for Bradway. He’d received the Indianapolis PD’s Medal for Bravery. The impulse to help was strong in him, and he and his family were noted for their assistance to the lost pets of Moore, OK in the aftermath of the Moore tornado; they gathered supplies and brought them to shelters that were trying to reunite the storm-tossed pets with their storm-displaced families.
The officer killed, Rod Bradway, and at least one other officer went to the apartment complex on the city’s northwest side about 2 a.m. after someone called 911 to report a disturbance.
“When he arrived to the apartment door, he heard a woman scream for help inside the apartment,” Bailey said.
Bradway forced his way inside and was shot, Bailey said. The 41-year-old officer was taken to Wishard Memorial Hospital, where he died a short time later.
Investigators were still working Friday morning to confirm the gunman’s identity and the circumstances surrounding his death. The child was taken by child protective services, said police spokesman Officer Kendale Adams, who had no other details on the child.
Rod Bradway and his backup officers were not the only stand-up guys in Indianapolis. The mayor was on an overseas junket when this happened; he cut it short and rushed home. That’s the right thing to do, but how many politicians do it? One can’t help but compare to the Congresscritters, including vets’-issues-diva Tammy Duckworth, who walked out on the family members of the Benghazi KIAs last week — that last is more typical pol behavior.
The politicians aside, the people of Indianapolis have poured out a stream of grief and affection for the slain policeman, much of it left at a memorial.
Byrdo, the killer, was a career criminal and a beneficiary of revolving-door “justice,” on the street and armed despite having received a six-year sentence in 2011 and already having done a bit of it for probation violation.
A pretty solid percentage of cops would have done exactly what Rod did, even though it’s not the textbook answer (that would be, “wait for backup on a domestic”). He died trying to prevent a helpless woman from being further injured. The only good news is that Byrdo has committed his last crime: where he’s gone, the recidivism rate is zero. Rod’s backup officers (assisted by the wound that Rod himself laid on Byrdo) did what the courts and laws could not, stopped a criminal career dead in its tracks. There is that.
Kevin was a former Special Forces weapons man (MOS 18B, before the 18 series, 11B with Skill Qualification Indicator of S). His focus was on weapons: their history, effects and employment. He started WeaponsMan.com in 2011 and operated it until he passed away in 2017. His work is being preserved here at the request of his family.