Five-year IMPD veteran shot to death on city’s northwest side

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A five-year veteran with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department was fatally shot early Friday morning after responding to a domestic disturbance call on the city’s northwest side.

Police said Officer Rod Bradway was shot around 2:02 a.m. after checking on a domestic dispute at the Eagle Pointe Apartments, where a woman was reportedly crying for help inside.

“The officer responded to a disturbance around here and in the midst of that disturbance there were shots fired,” said Lt. Chris Bailey with IMPD.

Bradway was rushed to Wishard Hospital, where he was pronounced deceased shortly after his arrival.

“IMPD lost one of its finest, but the city lost one of its finest,” said Public Safety Director Troy Riggs. “I’m always struck when you see the officers and they wear a uniform, they wear that uniform with pride, but that uniform also represents what’s good about our community. That our uniform represents the citizens we serve.”

The shooting suspect, 24-year-old Steven Byrdo, was killed at the scene.  Authorities said Byrdo opened fire after the officer entered the apartment.  Officer Bradway was able to return fire, striking the suspect, said police.

Neighbors told Fox59 the suspect may have been the boyfriend of the young woman who lives in the apartment with her child.  The woman and her child were not hurt in the incident.  The woman was detained by police for questioning.

A search of Byrdo’s history shows a history of run-ins with police.  Byrdo was arrested several times in the past few years on a variety of drug charges and carrying a handgun without a license.

“We’re all in shock here. We’re feeling very sad that this happened here,” said neighbor Pat Johnson. “We’re very much family oriented out here, those of us who’ve been here long term and so we’ll console each other and send up prayers for the police officer and his family.”

flags half staff for fallen IMPD officerManagers at Eagle Pointe Apartment Homes said any residents who wanted to learn more or come together to comfort one another could do so at the apartment leasing office, and the complex lowered their flags half staff in memory of the fallen officer. Meanwhile, Bradway’s family and city leaders gathered at the hospital.

“The guys are doing as well as can be expected right now the post team is out here, those are our internal people trained to deal with these kinds of emotional issues that may arise with the officers,” Lt. Bailey said.

Mayor Greg Ballard, who is currently in Europe, said he would not participate in the Indy Chamber Leadership Exchange in Cologne, Germany and is currently making arragements to return to Indianapolis.

“The City of Indianapolis lost a decorated hero, husband and father today,” said Mayor Ballard in a statement. “Officer Rod Bradway gave his life protecting the people of our community by charging ahead to confront the unknown.  I ask the citizens of Indianapolis to join me in keeping Officer Bradway’s family, friends and brothers and sisters in IMPD in their thoughts a prayers.”

Bradway, who was a firefighter and EMT with the Wayne Township Fire Department before joining IMPD, leaves behind a wife and two children.  Bradway was also a recent recipient of IMPD’s Medal of Bravery.

Friday’s homicide marks the fourth time in 10 years that a local officer has been gunned down in the line of duty. In 2011, IMPD officer David Moore was shot to death during a traffic stop on the east side.

His death was preceded several years earlier by the killings of Butler University Police Officer James Davis and IMPD Officer Jake Laird. Both of their assailants were killed.

A Facebook memorial page has been created in honor of the fallen officer.  Those who wish to contribute funds can send donations directly to the “Officer Bradway Family Fund” at the Professional Police Officers Credit Union located at 1502 E. Washington Street or call 317-327-2600.