Colleagues remember ‘selfless’ nature, ‘huge’ heart of fallen officer

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INDIANAPOLIS – By all accounts, Rod Bradway truly was one of Indy’s finest.

The decorated officer was remembered Friday by fellow officers, friends and even total strangers who came to the northwest district headquarters to pay their respects just hours after the officer was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance.

“It’s amazing,” said IMPD chief RIck Hite. “I’ve had hundreds of calls and emails. The community’s been great.”

Officer Bradway’s patrol car was rolled in front of the police station Friday afternoon, and was quickly decorated with flowers, balloons and other remembrances.

In nearby Wayne Township, firefighters are also mourning the loss – that’s because Bradway used to work at the township fire department. It’s where he met his wife, and his good friend Lt. Justin Sparks.

“I’ve been around many line of duty deaths in the past,” said Sparks. “I’ve never been around one as close as the loss the city suffered this morning.”

“The moment they found out who it was and what happened, it was a very somber mood around our department,” said Capt. Michael Pruitt.

Bradway even won a medal of bravery for saving a woman’s life while on duty, but it was the many things he did off-duty that friends said they would always remember.

“Rod was a totally selfless giver in everything that he did,” said Sparks.

Bradway was an animal lover, and volunteered at a local German Shepherd rescue. He even went to Oklahoma after the tornado there to help the displaced pets find their home.

“Him and his wife and his family all came here and helped,” said Amber Marks with German Shepherd Rescue Indy. “I don’t know how they’re dealing with this loss. His heart was huge and I’m totally in shock. I can’t believe it.”

A father of two, Bradway also volunteered for the Boy Scouts of America, at one time serving as an assistant scout master.

“The city of Indianapolis will never understand and never know what kind of person got pulled out of their equation today,” said Sparks. “It’s very hard.”

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