The small town of Nappanee is mourning the loss of a hometown hero.
News spread quickly Friday morning that Indianapolis police officer Rod Bradway, 41, was shot and killed in the line of duty.
Bradway hasn't lived in Nappanee for more than 20 years yet the name Bradway still carries a lot of weight in Nappanee.
Most people know the family. Rod’s parents, Tom and Sherry Bradway, recently retired. They spent a lifetime running a business downtown Nappanee and contributing to the community.
Bradway’s neighbors Arden and Evidene Graber say, “It's been a business that's been around a long time. Tom and Sherry were here probably at least 20 years or longer.”
It's believed the Indianapolis police officer gained an interest in public service during his childhood days while spending time with his grandfather, a firefighter.
Nappanee Mayor Larry Thompson remembers serving as a firefighter with Bradway’s grandfather. “Just kind of hanging out at the Smokey Stovers uptown as a fun place to be…his grandpa served on our fire department for a long, long time.”
The '91 Northwood High School Graduate was very active.
He ran track, was a good student, and excellent football player.
He's known for breaking a school record when kicking a game winning 50 yard field goal against Warsaw.
Thompson says, “He was a tremendous kicker. That's what we remember and that's what we'll remember him by, he was the kicker from Northwood
He was hailed as a hero here then and will be hailed as a hero now, serving his community.
Bradway’s neighbors say, “You don't know what they need other than that, we care so that's all we can do is say we care.”
Bradway was a firefighter before he was hired on as a police officer in Indianapolis.
He is the third police officer from Nappanee to die in the line of duty.