New details of officer’s deadly encounter with gunman

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Above: Officer Rod Bradway

INDIANAPOLIS – Officer Rod Bradway was ambushed as he entered a northwest side apartment to quell a domestic disturbance, sources tell Fox 59.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Homicide Detective Tom Lehn tells Fox 59 News that 24-year-old Steven Byrdo had been holding his ex-girlfriend hostage at the Eagle Pointe Apartments since 11 p.m. Thursday. At one point, the woman escaped to the balcony and screamed; Byrdo fired off a shot. Dispatchers received a 911 call around 1:52 a.m. about the disturbance.

A minute later, Bradway acknowledged the dispatch call and said he was headed to apartment 2A at 6720 Eagle Pointe North Drive. He knocked on the door, announced himself and heard a woman screaming inside the apartment. At 2:01 a.m., he advised that he planned to kick down the door. It took multiple strikes for him to force the door open. Another officer radioed “officer down” at 2:02 a.m.

Steven Byrdo MUG

Steven Byrdo

As he burst inside the apartment, Byrdo, who was hiding, reached out and fatally shot Bradway in the side as he rushed past. The woman attempted to warn Bradway about the ambush, but she was too late. Bradway’s momentum carried him into the apartment, where he rolled and fired back at Byrdo. According to police, Bradway hit Byrdo.  The woman ran into a back bedroom to be with her child.

Another IMPD officer arrived at the door; police said Byrdo turned toward the officer, and the two exchanged shots. Byrdo was fatally wounded in the exchange. Detectives recovered two guns from the suspect; IMPD and federal agents are trying to determine how Byrdo, a convicted felon, acquired the firearms.

Byrdo was pronounced dead at 2:25 a.m. from multiple wounds in his upper torso. The bill of Bradway’s baseball-style cap was damaged by a bullet. Detectives have recovered the apartment’s front door as well as bullets and guns from the scene.

At least 15 shots were fired from three weapons. Byrdo got off at least six shots. Lehn says the walls of the hallway and adjacent apartments were riddled with bullet holes.

“You can’t quit,” said Lt. Chris Bailey with IMPD when he learned that Bradway, with his literally dying breath, fired at Byrdo and struck his assailant. “We are trained not to lose. We can’t afford to lose. There’s too much at stake if we lose. The public’s safety is at stake. Our own safety is at stake. Our family’s safety is at stake. We can’t afford to lose. And as tragic as this incident was tonight…we didn’t lose.”

Bradway new timeline