Friday, September 20, 2013

IMPD Officer Shot And Killed While Responding To Domestic Disturbance On City's Northwest Side

Officer Rod BradwayA 41-year old IMPD officer tragically lost his life early this morning while responding to a domestic disturbance on the city's northwest side. Police tell WRTV that Officer Rod Bradway, a five-year veteran of the police department, died from gunshot wounds to the head and chest after he forcefully entered an apartment at the Eaglepointe Pointe Apartments to assist a woman he heard screaming for help inside the apartment. According to police, the suspected shooter was also shot and killed during the confrontation. "He did what we were taught to do," IMPD Chief Rick Hite said. Public Safety Director Rick Hite called Bradway's killing "an attack against what is right in our city." Mayor Greg Ballard, who is out of the country on his ninth overseas junket to Cologne, Germany, was not immediately available for comment.
While Mayor Ballard may be out of the country during this tragedy, it hasn't stopped him from using his hacks to exploit the tragic shooting to make the case for Mayor Ballard's call for higher taxes to boost IMPD's budget. Ballard's paid media hack, Abdul-Hakim Shabazz, who is substituting this week for WIBC's morning radio show host Steve Simpson, immediately pounced on the shooting to push the Mayor's call for hiring more police officers, blaming Officer Bradway's shooting on a police understaffing problem despite there not being once scintilla of evidence that IMPD's staffing had anything to do with this senseless killing. Taking a swipe at those who oppose Ballard's budget priorities, Shabazz suggested the shooting might motivate Ballard's detractors to sit down and start "a grown-up conversation." Shabazz continued the meme during a call-in interview with Councilor Ben Hunter, who said he was called by the city and notified of the officer's shooting death early this morning. Hunter echoed Shabazz' comments about IMPD being understaffed.

This is the last thing we should be discussing during this tragic moment, but since the mayor's hacks have opened up that discussion, let's have an honest discussion about the real reason IMPD is understaffed if that's where we want to lay the blame for Officer Bradway's shooting death. In 2007, former Mayor Bart Peterson and the Indianapolis City-County Council enacted a 65% increase in the county option income tax, a so-called public safety tax to fund IMPD at the appropriate levels, which then-mayoral candidate Greg Ballard opposed. Despite being promised at least 100 more police officers with the more than $90 million annually raised from that tax increase, there are fewer police officers today than there were when Mayor Ballard took office in 2008. Why? Because Mayor Ballard's priority one has not been public safety as he promised. Ballard has chosen his true priorities by diverting hundreds of millions of your tax dollars to finance crony capitalism for pay-to-play club members who bankroll his campaign committee like those who are now partying with him at the Rhineland Oktoberfest in Cologne. Somebody has to pay for all the private development projects he has been funding through generous tax abatements and the continuation and expansion of the TIF slush funds, which now consume 15% of the city's property tax base, not to mention the additional subsidies for the billionaire sports team owners. It is insulting and beyond reproach for these cold and calculating individuals to exploit this tragedy by blaming Indianapolis taxpayers for paying too little in taxes as the cause of Officer Bradway's death.

UPDATE: Apparently Mayor Ballard figured out that he had a real political problem on his hand being out-of-the country on yet another junket during this tragic event. His office just put out a statement saying that he has canceled the remainder of his overseas junket to Germany and is returning to the city:
“The City of Indianapolis lost a decorated hero, husband and father today.  Officer Rod Bradway gave his life protecting the people of our community by charging ahead to confront the unknown.  I ask the citizens of Indianapolis to join me in keeping Officer Bradway’s family, friends and brothers and sisters in IMPD in their thoughts a prayers.”
Due to the tragic events of this morning, Mayor Ballard will not participate in the Indy Chamber Leadership Exchange in Cologne, Germany.  He is currently making arrangements to return to Indianapolis. Details will be provided at a later time.
Abdul-Hakim Shabazz also sent his regards in an e-mail: "Nice to know you listen!" Well, it's nice to know you're still my most avid reader after all these years, Abdul.

WTHR has identified the suspect who was shot and killed during the shooting as well as 24-year old Steven Byrdo, who is believed to have been the boyfriend of the woman who lived in the apartment. Twitter comments from various reporters claim Byrdo had prior arrests for dealing marijuana.

UPDATE II: More details are emerging. The Star reports that Byrdo had held the woman at gunpoint inside the apartment for nearly three hours before Officer Bradway stormed into the apartment and shots were exchanged. An officer who accompanied Bradway shot and killed Byrdo.
. . . The man who shot and killed Bradway was hiding behind a door the officer kicked in when responding to the woman’s screams for help, police said.
Bradway had been talking to the suspect for several minutes, homicide Detective Thomas Lehn said. When Bradway charged in, the woman, who had been held at gunpoint for three hours, screamed to warn the officer that the suspect was behind the door.
"When the officer ran through the door, (the suspect) reached out, pointed the gun and shot him in the side," Lehn said.
In the chaos Bradway had little time to react, Lehn said.
Lehn said a second officer rushed in and exchanged gunfire with the suspect, fatally shooting him.
"There are bullet holes everywhere,” Lehn said.
Lehn said at least 15 shots were fired, six by the suspect.
Earlier in the morning the woman had run out onto the balcony before the suspect fired a shot and yanked her back in, Lehn said . . .
The Star is also reporting that Byrdo had been released from prison in June after being sentenced for convicted dealing cocaine in January. He was also sentenced for similar crimes in July, 2011.   Byrdo had other previous arrests, including public intoxication, disorderly conduct, dealing and possession of marijuana, and carrying a handgun without a license.

The infamous Star columnist from Cleveland wants you to know that Officer Bradway's death was caused because you're not paying enough in taxes to properly staff IMPD. The hell with the facts which prove unequivocally that having 300, 400 or 500 more police officers would not have prevented this senseless shooting. She wasn't around when your income taxes were hiked 65% a few years ago to fund public safety, and she isn't about to perform any due diligence to understand what happened with all of those new tax dollars that finds us with fewer police officers than before that gigantic tax increase. These commenter in response to her column on the Star's website hit the nail on the head:
The loss of this hero has nothing to do with politics, budgets, etc. Ask any officer and they will tell you that a domestic is the worst call to go on because you never know what you will encounter. You can't go in guns drawn like a robbery in progress or shots fired and events with a domestic can escalate quickly. Also, please don't turn this into a gun possession either. Criminals will get guns as shown by this individual regardless of the laws. This is about a hero, a father, a husband that gave his life doing his job and they deserve our respect every day and has nothing to do with anything other than good people and bad people.  
Leonard Strickland
If the columnist had read the story and knew exactly what happened, she'd know that politics and budgets had absolutely nothing to do with this. Instead of retreating or waiting around for additional resources to show up, this brave officer knew time was of the essence and did what he did, knowing what was on the other side of the door. The City-County Council could have approved the request to hire 80 officers or 8,000 officers, nothing would have changed the outcome of this horrific situation. There's nothing wrong with debating or writing about the police budget or politics, but to parlay this tragedy while the body is still warm is truly sickening in every sense of the word.
Axl E. David 


Anonymous said...

Where is the forensic audit of what Ballard let Frank Straub do to us?

SW Lane said...

My wife, older brother and father have standing orders that if, in the event I fall in the line of duty, to keep that clown well away from any hospital, morgue, or funeral home. He's never given a damn about me personally, and ever since he allowed the cancer of Straub to damn near destroy my Department and never take responsibility for Straub, he has zero credibility within IMPD.
In no way in Hell should he politicize Bradway's heroism and death.

Anonymous said...

five words:

"ofc bradway memorial cricket stadium"

guy77money said...

If you want more cops on the street with the limited budget just put the sheriff department officers back out on the street. They used to patrol out in the townships. We are already paying them and they have all the necessary training. You could easily add 100 or more officers at limited cost to the city.

Anonymous said...


i'm slightly confused by your comment. all road-patrol and detective sheriff deputies who used to be the law-enforcement division of the sheriff's department (pre-merger) were absorbed into the IMPD. that was actually around 400 deputies.

also, there is some controversy (and a federal lawsuit) regarding the law enforcement authority (or lack thereof) of the non-merit sheriff deputies currently conducting traffic stops and affecting arrests. they are not certified by the indiana law enforcement academy. why the i.l.e.a. has been silent (at least publicly) regarding this is quite interesting.

Anonymous said...

The story is a lie. If there were a three-hour standoff, SWAT would have had control of the scene, and there would not have been an entry of the dwelling without first firing a flash-bang. Any officer entering would have been behind a shield. A dynamic entry after "a few minutes" is foolish and overly aggressive.

"The man who shot and killed Bradway was hiding behind a door the officer kicked in when responding to the woman’s screams for help, police said."

So did Byrdo have a gun to her head, or was he crouched behind the door in a defensive position? If Byrdo was crouched behind the door, how did the door not hit him and disable him when Bradway smashed it open?

Why was the door smashed open and an officer immediately entered?
A door is breached and the entryway cleared prior to making an entry.

Chances are high this is more cowboy "policing." I would like to see an honest ballistics report to see if all rounds recovered from Bradway were fired from Byrdo's gun.

Gary R. Welsh said...

I may be wrong, but I don't think the police were there for 3 hours. I thought that was in reference to the amount of time that the shooter had held the woman and child hostage in the apartment. I believe one of the neighbors called 911 after hearing a disturbance in the apartment some time later.

SW Lane said...


Spoken like a true Monday morning quarterback, who has no direct and apparently no indirect knowledge of the incident, with an attempt to garnish your opinion with pseudo-knowledge, sprinkled with jargon no doubt learned through the internet.

I have no doubt that Rod, hearing the screaming, and sensing an imminent death situation, busted the door and was ambushed. He probably would have done the same for you...yet you pithily dismiss his sacrifice with a sorry-ass agenda that is readily seen by all.

Go peddle your bullshit elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

I'm with SW Lane: Cato (anon 8:09 p.m.) GO BACK TO YOUR ROOM! -Your attendant was not supposed to allow you on the internet until you took your medication.

Anonymous said...

I have total first-hand knowledge of the blunder, SW. These acts are not in dispute:

A cop is dead, and a citizen is dead.

IMPD couldn't have messed this up any worse.

We need LESS of these cops, not more.

Anonymous said...

Gary, I can't write much now, but think through the implications of this "three hours" claim.

Anonymous said...

Very very tragic

Questions that should be answered
1) Was the officer wearing a vest?
Should be standard if enough vests are available.

2) Who provided the gun to Byrdo?
This will take months to ascertain.
(Rand Paul thinks that convicted felons should have a right to carry a gun)

3) Who was the Dep. Pros involved
with the original plea (if it was a plea)?

4) What drugs were in Byrdo's system? Should be known within a few weeks, unless the State does
the analysis and then it will take 4 to 6 months minimum.

SW Lane said...

Ok, 7:45, then you have a duty to go to the Prosecutor with your '1st hand knowledge', which I strongly bet has the consistency of the afore-mentioned Bullshit.

Do for your community the responsible thing, instead of cravenly hiding in anonymity

Gary R. Welsh said...

According to the 911 call list on the web, the call of a disturbance at the apartment's address came at 1:52 a.m. The sound of gunshots was called in at 2:03 a.m. Again, I'm not sure where the 3-hour estimate originated, but I don't believe the police were on the scene more than a few minutes before the shooting occurred.

Anonymous said...

If the police have no knowledge of "three hours," why is it in the report? When police performed a scene investigation prior to making an entry, in which they learned of the three-hour dispute, why the need for immediate entry?

If there was a dispute simmering for three hours, the presence of police immediately escalated tensions.

This couldn't have been more poorly conducted by IMPD.

Where was the other officer positioned so as to conduct fire but be shielded from return fire?

Byrdo will go down as another police execution that nobody in the press will investigate.

Gary R. Welsh said...

First of all, it was not Byrdo's apartment. It was the apartment of his ex-girlfriend who he was allegedly holding at gunpoint. The ex-girlfriend was interviewed by police after the shooting. The three-hour estimate probably came from her but I don't know that for certain. A neighbor called police complaining of a disturbance in the apartment. The police arrive and hear the woman screaming for help inside the apartment. Until we hear the woman speak publicly about the shooting, we're all just engaged in pure speculation. Let's just mourn the loss of life for now and await a more definitive report on the incident after the investigation is concluded.

Anonymous said...

No. Now is the moment to press for answers and engage in the most rigorous inquiry, because as time passes, the police sanitize their statements, and the Indianapolis media moves on.

In typical IMPD fashion, we're already on two reports to the press.

Gary R. Welsh said...

I'm more concerned about attempts that are being made to exploit this tragedy to support tax increases for public safety. The media has been reporting Ballard's lies about public safety funding verbatim in a push to force higher taxes. This administration has deliberately diverted tens of millions of dollars raised by the 65% increase in the income tax for public safety to other uses. That's the real scandal that the media is deliberately covering up.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, you are an insensitive jerk!