NAPPANEE, IN (FOX 59) – IMPD officer Rod Bradway, who was killed in the line of duty, grew up in Nappanee, Indiana.
His hometown proudly remembered his younger years on Friday. Bradway grew up in Nappanee.
People said the Bradway’s were well-known in the community. Rod Bradway’s parents owned an appliance store, which they recently closed. His grandfather was a firefighter. Nappanee Mayor, Larry Thompson said, perhaps, it inspired Rod Bradway to chose the career he did. Thompson said Rod Bradway, and his brother, enjoyed hanging around the fire department.
“A few years ago -when these boys were growing up and going to school here -everybody literally did know everybody,” Thompson said.
Rod Bradway graduated from NorthWood High School in 1991. People, who knew him, said he was an outstanding athlete. He ran for the track team and played football.
“I knew, from the time he came in, there was something special,” Fred Myers said.
Myers was Rod Bradway’s track coach for 4 years. Myers said their relationship was special. He said Rod Bradway would sit the front seat of the bus, as they drove to track meets and chat with him.
“We used to have a saying: ‘whose going to give a pint of blood for the team?’ Well, Rod would give a quart,” Myers said.
Myers said it was surreal to find out Rod Bradway had been killed this morning, while working in Indianapolis.
Rod Bradway’s friend, and former high school football teammate, said he was shocked too.
“Rod was not a confrontational person so being in that line of work, you never know what you’re going to walk into and unfortunately he walked into a really bad situation,” Brent Warren said.
Warren was one year older than Rod Bradway. He played on the varsity football team with him for 3 years. People said, when they think about Rod Bradway, many people remember an unbelievable play, during the last few seconds of a game against their rivals, Warsaw High School.
“He kicked a 50 yard field goal to win the game,” Myers said.
Warren remembered the record-breaking play from that night.
“We snapped the ball and everybody stood there and watched this ball just sail…….I don’t know who was more shocked us or Warsaw that we kicked it,” Warren said.
Mayor Thompson said Nappanee will be represented, during Officer Bradway’s funeral in Indianapolis. Thompson said he would like his family to know that they want to honor him as well.
In the past 25 years, three law enforcement officers who are former residents of Nappanee have been killed in the line of duty.