Suspect in IMPD officer's fatal shooting was convicted felon
Eyewitness News is learning more about Steven Byrdo, the suspect involved in the fatal shooting of Indianapolis Metro Police Officer Rod Bradway.
Byrdo has a history of criminal charges and was on parole at the time of the shooting. Eyewitness News learned Byrdo has been in and out of prison since 2010, primarily with drug charges.
Officer Bradway was responding to a domestic violence at the Eagle Pointe Apartments early Friday when he heard a woman screaming for help inside an apartment. He forced his way inside, where police say Byrdo shot him to death. Officers then shot and killed Byrdo.
Byrdo's criminal history of adult arrests dates to 2009 when he was 20. Officers say he was drunk in a Denny's restaurant. The arrest report says he stood on a chair shouting profanities before throwing a steak knife across the dining room. The officers say Byrdo then told police he was drunk but that they couldn't arrest him because he was not driving. The charges of public intoxication, disorderly conduct and possession of alcohol by a minor were dismissed as part of a diversion program.
Byrdo's current parole was tied to a 2010 drug case in which he pleaded guilty to felony charges of dealing and possessing cocaine or other narcotics. He was sentenced to six years but initially only required to serve two followed by one year of probation. As part of a plea agreement, prosecutors dropped several charges, including carrying a handgun without a license.
The case began with a March 2010 traffic stop when an officer smelled burnt marijuana in the vehicle. The officer reported that it appeared Byrdo was trying to hide something and acting erratically. Officers found 4.9 grams of cocaine in the car. They also found a gun in the center console. The officer's account says Byrdo admitted he did not have a license for the weapon.
The Indiana Department of Corrections says Byrdo was received in June 2011, and he was accepted into a Community Transition Program in September 2011. In November 2011, Byrdo was released to probation in Marion County.
He was arrested in January 2013 for a probation violation and sentenced to another 505 days. Byrdo was released after serving about five months. In June 2013, he was released from the Plainfield Short Term Offender Program (STOP) Facility in Plainfield to parole supervision in Indianapolis. He received 70 days jail time credit and 30 days program credit for completing the Thinking for a Change program, a cognitive behavioral class. The DOC says while he was incarcerated, he had no conduct violations or disciplinary action.
Court records also show Byrdo still owes $1,225 in probation fees and court costs.
While he was on probation for that 2010 drug case and wearing a house arrest monitor, Byrdo was arrested in another drug case. In May of 2011, officers found Byrdo in a vehicle with six sealed baggies of marijuana. According the arrest report, he told the officer he was sitting in a parked car near his home because he did not want to go near enough to the house to trigger the monitor, because then he would have to stay in for the rest of the night.
Byrdo also admitted that his driver's license was suspended at the time.
The DOC also says since being released to parole in June, Byrdo was seeing his parole agent regularly and "engaged in his rehabilitation." The department reports he was employed and attending classes at Martin University in Indianapolis.
Byrdo also faced marijuana possession and dealing charges from a November 2012 arrest, but the prosecutor dismissed all four of those charges.