INDIANAPOLIS — Early on the morning of Sept. 20, 2013, IMPD Officer Rod Bradway responded to a report of a woman screaming in a second-floor unit at the Eagle Pointe Apartments on Indianapolis’ northwest side.
As Bradway pulled up in the 6700 block of Eagle Pointe North Drive, he could hear the cries for help, unaware that a woman and her eleven-month-old daughter had been held hostage by the mother’s boyfriend, a prison parolee free for just three months after serving a cocaine conviction.
So urgent were the woman’s pleadings that Bradway bounded up the steps, his backup officer seconds behind, as the veteran patrolman stormed the apartment door.
Inside, the parolee waited and ambushed the officer, firing six shots, one bullet evading Bradway’s Kevlar vest.
The mortally wounded officer fired off eight shots of his own, fatally wounding his assailant, before backup arrived.
The gunman was dead at the scene. Bradway died later at Wishard Memorial Hospital.
After his death, Bradway received IMPD’s Medal of Honor and Purple Heart as well as a Congressional Badge of Bravery.
To mark the decade since his passing, IMPD memorialized Bradway with a rock outside of its northwest district headquarters carved with his badge number and call sign as well as the date of his End of Watch and a renamed street in front of the building in his honor.
”I imagine if Rod were here he would tell you all of us to be careful, be mindful, use backup when you can and to be safe,” IMPD Chief Randal Taylor told dozens of IMPD officers gathered for the ceremony. ”Rod did it right. He made the ultimate sacrifice for someone he didn’t even know. But that’s just the way he was. And that’s just the way so many of you are so thank you for that.”
Sgt. Thomas Jordan came up through the IMPD Training Academy with Bradway and ran his beat the day before his partner died.
”Rod’s smile was infectious,” said Jordan. “He affected everyone around him. He was very likable. Everyone loved him. He was a very proud man. He was dedicated to serving the community in which we live.”
Jordan said it is up to veteran officers to remind newer officers of Bradway’s sacrifice.
”We always carry on his legacy by reminding the officers of the ultimate sacrifice that he made for the people of this community we keep his spirit very much alive by having memorials posted throughout the building for him and constantly speaking about the contributions that he made to our department.”
Jordan recalled his friend always told other Training Academy recruits, “If you can’t do it the right way, do it Bradway.”