The Associated Press
Officers mourning an Indianapolis police officer slain while coming to the aid of a screaming woman who’d been held at gunpoint for hours are taking comfort in knowing he died during a selfless and heroic act, a police spokesman said Saturday.
Officer Rod Bradway, who died early Friday, kicked open the front door of an apartment in response to screams for help by a woman whose ex-boyfriend had held her inside at gunpoint for three hours.
The woman and her young child were unharmed in the chaos that followed, but 24-year-old Steven Byrdo was hiding behind the apartment door and allegedly ambushed and fatally shot Bradway about 2 a.m. Friday, police said.
Bradway, a 41-year-old father of two teenagers whi attended Indiana State University from 1991 to 1995, died later at a hospital.
Police said Bradway returned fire, striking Byrdo before he fell to the floor and a second officer then fatally shot Byrdo, exchanging about 15 shots with the suspect.
Police spokesman Lt. Chris Bailey said Saturday fellow officers are comforted somewhat knowing that Bradway died “doing what he wanted to do, and doing it in a heroic way for a perfect stranger.”
“Officer Bradway’s actions obviously saved this woman. He kicked in that door without knowing what’s on the other side,” he said.
The woman who screamed for help hasn’t been identified by police, but while being interviewed by officers she expressed her sadness at Bradway’s death, as well as thanks for his actions, Officer Kendale Adams said.
“She was very grateful and full of emotions. She was very thankful that he did what he did,” Adams said.
Officers from across Indiana and the nation are expected to attend Thursday’s funeral for Bradway at downtown Indianapolis’ Bankers Life Fieldhouse, said Baily, who on Saturday joined members of the department and the Fraternal Order of Police in helping plan the funeral.
He said hundreds of police and other law enforcement vehicles would be part of the funeral procession to Crown Hill Cemetery, where Bradway will be buried in its Heroes of Public Safety section.