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Fallen officer’s funeral procession to wind through Indianapolis

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INDIANAPOLIS – A crowd of 5,000 or more is expected at Bankers Life Fieldhouse Thursday for the funeral of slain IMPD Officer Rod Bradway, who died Sept. 20 in a shootout with a man holding two hostages. A funeral procession containing hundreds of police cars from across the country will snake its way from downtown, through the west and north sides of Indianapolis and to Crown Hill Cemetery where Bradway will be laid to rest in the Heroes of Public Safety section of the grounds. Bradway was shot to death last Friday morning as he rushed an apartment at Eagle Pointe Apartments to rescue a woman and her daughter being held hostage.Though mortally wounded, Bradway fired his weapon eight times, striking Steven Byrdo at least three times before a backup officer returned fire in a gun battle.Byrdo died at the scene.

Like the last IMPD officer killed in the line of duty, David Moore in 2011, Bradway will be honored during an 11 a.m. funeral service that is expected to last two hours and will be broadcast live on Fox 59. Bradway was honored Wednesday with IMPD’s Medal of Honor and Purple Heart during a ceremony Wednesday.

“We’re going to give our very, very best because he gave his very, very best for us,” said IMPD Sgt. Steve Staletovich who served more than a dozen years with the department’s Color Guard unit.

Bradway’s funeral procession will depart downtown along westbound Washington Street to southbound Holt Road where it will make its way to Sam Jones Expressway and pass by Wayne Township Fire Station No. 81 where the officer served as a fireman before joining IMPD.

procession map

Map of funeral procession

“Officer Bradway’s turnout gear from when he was in Wayne Township will be at the intersection with the truck blocking the road,” said Private Scott Poling, “And they’re going to slow down and do a moment of recognition for the department and his service here.”

Residents of Wayne Township are invited to view the procession with firefighters either at Firehouse 81 or fire headquarters at 700 North High School Road.

Eventually the procession will travel West 10th Street to northbound Lynhurst Avenue where it will pass the Town of Speedway Police and Fire Headquarters.

“We invite the Speedway community or anybody within the westside if they want to come out here and stand with the firefighters and police officers of the town of Speedway,” said Police Lt. Trent Theobold. “We would appreciate that response and we could all pay our respects together as a community.”

Schools in Speedway and Wayne Township will be closed Thursday.

“We do encourage the children of the community to come out and pay their respects,” said Theobald. “These are the police officers who put their lives on the line every day.”

At the corner of 25th Street and Georgetown Road the procession will pass by Turn 4 of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway before making its way to West 38th Street and after a jog on Guion Road, the caravan will stop at IMPD’s Northwest District Headquarters where Bradway’s car has become a shrine covered with flowers, teddy bears and notes from family and strangers honoring the fallen officer.

“He will be marked out 10-42, which is our ten code which means end of tour of duty,” according to Staletovich who said the moment a police dispatcher makes that announcement on IMPD radios citywide will be one of the toughest moments of a long day.

“It is one of the most solemn things we have to do. It’s hard. It’s wrenching. It’s hard to do, but it’s a brother officer. It’s something that we have to do. We have to mark him out of service for the last time.”

From the district headquarters, Bradway’s procession will enter Crown Hill Cemetery on West 38th Street where the officer’s body will be transferred to a waiting caisson drawn by six horses that will deliver the remains graveside.

Bagpipers, in the tradition of the Irish immigrants who launched many of North America’s fire and police departments in the mid-19th century, will play. A 21-gun salute will be followed by “Taps” in the Heroes of Public Safety section of the grounds.

“In our nation of laws, police officers are leaders,” said Staletovich. “Rod Bradway is not the exception. He is the rule.”