INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - An Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer died early Friday morning after a shooting on the northwest side, police officials said.
The IMPD officer, identified as Officer Rod Bradway, was responding to a domestic disturbance just before 2 a.m. IMPD officials said Bradway heard a woman’s screams for help, so he entered the apartment, prompting an exchange of gunfire.
Officer Bradway was taken to Wishard Memorial Hospital, where he later died. Sources told 24-Hour News 8 the suspect involved in the exchange of gunfire was Steven Byrdo, 24. He also died.
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POLICE RELEASE CHILLING DETAILS
Chief of Police Rick Hite returned to the scene Friday. In all, about seven shots were fired, he said.
Police say Byrdo was waiting behind the apartment door. As Bradway entered the apartment, Byrdo shot him, inflicting a mortal wound. Police did not say exactly where the officer was hit.
Bradway returned fire, striking the suspect, before he fell to the ground. Another officer arrived on the scene after Bradway. The suspect then turn toward the second officer but that officer shot and killed Byrdo.
Byrdo was holding a woman and her infant hostage Thursday night into Friday morning. Police say he also fired his weapon at the woman before police arrived.
A JOB WELL DONE
Officers focused on his courageous efforts.
"It is tough because it brings back all the memories. I'm an old timer," Hite said. "I've been in this business 35 years. It's rough. It is never easy. Nothing prepares you for that moment."
Bradway was a five-year veteran of IMPD.
"He loved to come to work to do his job," IMPD Chief Rick Hite said.
The local Fraternal Order of Police president, Bill Owensby, characterized Bradway as a "true hero.
In February, Bradway was honored as employee for the month for his role in capturing four felons and recovering stolen weapons.
Friends who went to police academy with him say his nickname was Tackleberry.
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The incident happened at Eagle Pointe apartment complex, near 46th Street and Eagle Creek Parkway.
OFFICER FOLLOWED PROTOCOL
IMPD NW District Commander Brian Mahone says Bradway did what he was trained to do.
"It's our policy for all of our officers to wear the (bullet proof) vest. We can say he was in policy and did everything he was supposed to do," Mahone said. "He saved a lot of lives last night."
Hours after news of the horrific crime spread, strangers dropped off water, flowers, cards and balloons.
"I just wanted to help a little bit. There is not a lot we can do, you know? But we can show thanks," a man said who left flowers and water. He did not want to be identified.
REPORTING FOR DUTY
Now, the community is rallying behind a group of men and women who were back on the job hours after learning of the fallen officer.
"Our job is to go back out there because someone is gonna need us tonight," Hite said. "Someone will need us to assist them. If not us, then who?"
Bradway’s death prompted Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard to suspend his trip to Europe. He was there with the Indy Chamber. Ballard’s spokesman said Friday morning the mayor was making arrangements to fly back from Germany.
Statements of support poured out for Bradway, his family and his fellow officers.
A fund has been set up in memory of Officer Bradway to help his family during this difficult time. If you would like to donate to the "Officer Bradway Family Fund," you can send your donation to the Professional Police Officers Credit Union located at 1502 E. Washington Street or call 317-327-2600.
The investigation continues Friday night. Funeral arrangements are still pending.
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