IMPD officer killed in early morning shooting
An Indianapolis Metropolitan Police officer was killed by gunfire early Friday morning after responding to a domestic dispute at a northwest side apartment complex. Officials have identified the officer as 41-year-old Rod Bradway, a five-year veteran of the force.
IMPD tells us Officer Bradway responded to the Eagle Pointe Apartments around 1:52 a.m. He heard screams for help, from an unidentified woman inside the apartment. Bradway entered the apartment, and gunshots were exchanged between the officer and the suspect.
The suspect, who was identified from an IMPD report as 24-year-old Steven Byrdo of Indianapolis, died at the scene.
On Friday, investigators removed the apartment door as evidence. They say when Officer Bradway kicked it in, rushing to the woman's cry for help, he was ambushed by the man behind it.
The mortally-wounded Bradway fired back, and a second officer joined and ended the gunfight. Byrdo, armed with two handguns, died of multiple gunshot wounds.
The woman living in the apartment with her 11-month-old child told police that Byrdo, a former boyfriend, had been holding them hostage since 11:00 pm. She escaped to the apartment balcony and screamed for help. A neighbor called 911.
Investigators say jealousy over a former girlfriend motivated Byrdo's deadly and tragic violence.
Officer Bradway was transported to Wishard Hospital, where he died from his injuries several hours later.
Officers tell us Bradway saved the woman's life.
"We have lost a true hero today in Officer Bradway. Please keep his family and the IMPD family in your thoughts and prayers in the days and weeks that lie ahead" said IMPD Chief Rick Hite.
"We're grateful he's a brave, dedicated officer. Very proud. I had a chance to talk to his parents. We talked about how he was so enthralled to wear the uniform, how it made him feel bigger than life, how he loved to come to work and do his job. As you heard, he entered an apartment to save the life of a woman who had been assaulted and in turn gave his life. Blessed are the peace makers in our community who wear the blue and thank God for people like Rod and members of this police department. It's a tough time for us but we'll get through this," said Chief Hite.
Officer Bradway leaves behind a wife and two teenage children. He had recently been awarded the IMPD's Medal of Bravery.
"I just want to say tonight IMPD lost one of its finest but this city also lost one of its finest. I'm always struck when you see the officers and they wear that uniform. They wear that uniform with pride but that uniform also represents what's good about our community. That our uniform represents the citizens we serve. Not only tonight did an officer die, but it was an attack against what is right in our city. The officers I have spoken with tonight asked for prayer. They asked for respect for their privacy and I for one am proud of the service and sacrifice of our officer," said Public Safety Director Troy Riggs.
Northwest District Commander Brian Mahone says his unit has lost a member of their family.
"When I say 'we,' I mean the Northwest District, IMPD, the public safety department, and the city of Indianapolis. We're gonna ask our family for all the support and as I say family, I mean the city, the county, everybody. We are a community and we've lost a key member, we lost a guardian," said Mahone.
Mahone said Officer Bradway "stood out" and had just been named an "officer of the month."
Officer Bradway's vehicle was placed outside IMPD northwest district headquarters, where colleagues and other mourners laid flowers and wreaths.
Mayor Ballard's office confirms that he is suspending his trip to Europe due to the death of Officer Bradway.
Steven Byrdo was arrested last year for dealing and possession of marijuana. He had another drug arrest in 2010 on a preliminary charge of dealing and possession of cocaine and having a hand gun without a license.
Visitation, funeral plans set
Visitation for Officer Rod Bradway is scheduled for Wednesday, September 25 from 2-8 p.m. His funeral will be held at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Thursday at 11 a.m. He will be buried afterwards in the Crown Hill Cemetery Heroes of Public Safety section.
The public is invited.
Donations may be made directly to the "Officer Bradway Family Fund" at the Professional Police Officers Credit Union located at 1502 E. Washington Street or call 317-327-2600.
Stay with Eyewitness News and WTHR.com as we continue to follow this developing story.