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Mayor calls slain IMPD officer ‘heroic’

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In his first on-camera interview since the death of an Indianapolis Metropolitan police officer, Mayor Greg Ballard called Rod Bradway “heroic.”

“He did what he thought was right and obviously made the call to go in and save that lady and her baby,” said Ballard as he observed a memorial golf tournament for two EMS crewmen who died in an ambulance crash in February.. “It was a heroic incident. No doubt about it.”

Ballard was in France on a trade mission last Friday morning when he got word that Officer Bradway was shot to death rushing an apartment on the city’s northwest side in an attempt to save a woman and her daughter who were being held hostage by an ex-boyfriend for three hours.

Steve Byrdo was armed with two guns. He died in a gunbattle with a backup officer after ambushing Bradway.

“You hate it when it happens to one of your own,” said Ballard. “It affects you very deeply. He’s got children that clearly love him very much. That hurts just to even think about it.”

Bradway’s patrol car is now a shrine, covered with flowers and balloons and notes outside of his northwest district headquarters.

Ballard said he was struck by the private notes left behind by Bradway’s children as he viewed the officer’s car.

One of those letters reads “I love you dad. Thank you for all you have done. I’ll grow up and make you proud.” The letter was signed “Sis.”

As Bradway’s death is mourned, Officer Eli Raisovich is back at work for the first time since his fellow officer was gunned down.

He drives his patrol car past Bradway’s as he goes on duty.

“Runs are still going to get taken. Somebody’s got to step up and fill that void,” he said.

For 17 years Raisovich has done that, first as a Marion County Sheriff’s deputy and now as an IMPD officer, always patrolling the part of town he calls home.

“We, unfortunately, have to clean up the aftermath of the loss of a comrade and go immediately back to work.”

And that’s what Raisovich did, pulling over suspicious vehicles, rolling through apartment complexes, looking for anything that doesn’t add up.

“I think the potential was there for more than two people to be harmed or killed,” said Raisovich as he reflected back on Friday morning’s shooting. “I think it could’ve been much worse.”

Raisovich said he will rely on his training to protect himself and the younger officers who look to him for leadership on the northwest side.

“Rod made the ultimate sacrifice for my community. The least I can do is show up and do my job and do it well.”