FBI identifies shooter who wounded 2 officers
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (WSVN) -- Authorities have released new images of a man believed behind a shooting that left two officers wounded on the Florida Turnpike, Thursday afternoon.
The FBI identified David Edwin Bradley, 23, of Miami Gardens as the subject behind the shooting of two law enforcement officers on the Turnpike. He had some minor priors in his criminal history, such as trespassing, but nothing remotely as dramatic as what led up to the crimes of Thursday afternoon.
Police said Bradley killed himself after wounding the two officers, a Key Biscayne Police officer and a Customs and Immigration officer. He had no identification on him.
According to the FBI, who is leading the investigation, Bradley's crime spree began at 2:20 p.m., when he stole a car in Miami in the area of Northwest 75th Street and 27th Avenue. He then headed north.
The FBI released two images of Bradley at the Maxim Cuts barber shop in Pembroke Pines holding a gun during a robbery, at around 2:40 p.m. Officials said, Bradley demanded cash from the register and pointed a gun at several people inside. Though Bradley did not fire his gun during the robbery, a security guard shot at him as he fled the scene. "Shots were fired during the course of that robbery," said an official.
After he fled, officials said, Bradley stole another car, at around 3 p.m. and headed north to Hollywood.
He was involved in a crash at around 5:15 p.m. while on the Turnpike, near the Hollywood Boulevard exit. Agents said, Key Biscayne officer Nelia Real saw the accident on her way home and tried to help. The gunman then shot Real in the neck. "She was on her way home. She thought she saw a traffic accident, and she was just trying to do her job," said Key Biscayne Police Chief Charles Press.
Customs and Immigration Assistant Field Office Director Gabriel Martinez was shot in the arm while driving through the scene. Both were taken to Hollywood Memorial Hospital.
Real's life was likely saved with moments to spare, partly due to Broward Sheriff's Office deputy Osvaldo Petitfrere, 32, who stopped to aid the wounded, as he headed to work.
According to sources, Bradley fired shots at the deputy, who returned fire. The suspect then took off running.
Moments later, Petitfrere heard more gunshots and spotted Real's Key Biscayne police cruiser. Sources said the Army veteran saw Real as she clutched her bleeding neck. Real took cover behind the deputy's vehicle and applied pressure to her neck, and Petitfrere reportedly placed his hands on top of Real's to apply more pressure to her wound.
Then, a motorist said the gunman was returning. Sources said the deputy was unwilling to watch Officer Real die in front of him. Broward County Sheriff Al Lamberti said the deputy "grabbed the Key Biscayne officer, pulled her to safety at the same time while shooting at the suspect. At that time, he saw that she was wounded in the neck, bleeding profusely, loaded her into his patrol car and rushed to the hospital. A paramedic would have never been able to get there quick enough."
Soon after the shootings, reports came in of a man dressed in black, carrying a gun and firing shots at passing vehicles. Dozens of officers flooded the area.
A 7News viewer captured video of the gunman, who terrified drivers, before police descended on him. Hector Lopez witnessed the man brandishing the gun, walking along the shoulder of the Turnpike. "I was scared," he said. "I don't know how I took this video."
"He had on all black. He had dreads. He had a 9 millimeter in his hand, and he pointed it at me," said Tremellody Penson.
Stacy Shaffer recounted seeing the man on the highway soon after he crashed the stolen car. "He was walking," she said, over the phone. "He was just very calm. He was just walking in the middle of road."
After police converged on the scene, the suspect was pronounced dead on the scene. "The suspect died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound," said an official.
A BSO deputy was also injured while trying to respond to the scene. The deputy was involved in a car accident on I-95 and Sheridan, responding to the Turnpike. Deputy Enid Conley, 23, suffered a broken leg and is recovering in the same hospital as Real and Martinez. All are in stable condition.
Officers began gathering at the hospital Thursday evening. They continue to pray for Real. "It's a horrible situation, but this one looks like it might have a happy ending," said Press.
Martinez is a 10-year veteran and second in charge of the deportation office in Miami.
According to the Key Biscayne Police Chief, what Real did Thursday after is customary of her. "Commonly, once a week, she renders aid to someone on the way home," Press said. "She is probably one of the most caring human beings that I've ever been around, and that's why she got into the jam she got into last night."
Florida Highway Patrol closed the Turnpike in both directions, near the Hollywood Boulevard exit for several hours as they investigated the scene. It reopened about 12 hours after the shooting, early Friday morning.
Friday afternoon, Sheriff Lamberti announced Petitfrere will be given the Medal of Honor by the department for his actions.
Though the suspect is deceased, the FBI continues to investigate. If you have any idea what may have been Bradley's motive, call the FBI field office in Miami at 305-944-9101.
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