An apparent road rage incident Feb. 26 is what ultimately resulted in one man's death, another man's life forever altered and part of the community first in mourning, now mired in outrage.

A Warren County grand jury Wednesday did not find sufficient evidence to charge an off-duty court security officer with any crime in the shooting that ended the life of Brandon Bradshaw, 27, a well-known Bowling Green youth theater director.

Warren County Sheriff’s Office court security officer Thomas Brown shot Bradshaw three times Feb. 26 in the parking lot of Michelle’s Consignment Boutique at 1135 U.S. 31-W By-Pass. Bradshaw died March 2 at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

In a news conference Wednesday at the Warren County Justice Center, Warren County Commonwealth's Attorney Chris Cohron said the grand jury heard more than eight hours of testimony Tuesday before reaching a decision Wednesday morning. The grand jury returned a no true bill on the charges of reckless homicide or second-degree manslaughter, according to Warren Circuit Court records. 

"As much as a relief yesterday was for the Brown family, they still understand that another person has lost their life," said Brown's attorney, Alan Simpson. "They are still keeping the Bradshaw family in their prayers. It's a true tragedy that will affect both of the families forever."

Bradshaw's family and friends were in disbelief after the grand jury decision was announced.

"I'm concerned about my own safety now," said Bradshaw's sister Amanda Winn, who was standing outside the justice center Wednesday awaiting news about the grand jury decision. "I teach preschool, and we teach them to trust law enforcement. I don't feel as safe as I used to in our community."

The altercation began when both men were traveling south on U.S. 31-W By-Pass. Witnesses stated that Brown's and Bradshaw's vehicles were jockeying back and forth, pulling up next to each other and changing lanes south of 10th Avenue, Cohron said. As both vehicles crossed 10th Avenue, Bradshaw entered the parking lot of Enterprise Rent-A-Car at 1125 U.S. 31-W By-Pass, and Brown was seen pulling in shortly after at Michelle's Consignment Boutique at 1135 U.S. 31-W By-Pass.

Testimony and evidence show that Bradshaw then pulled in behind Brown in the parking lot of Michelle's Consignment Boutique. Brown stepped out of his vehicle – with his gun concealed – and approached Bradshaw's driver's side wearing "plain clothes and in no way in any performance of any law enforcement duties," Cohron said.

"There was a verbal altercation between the two of them," Cohron said. "At some point in time, Brandon Bradshaw during the altercation attempted to exit the vehicle. Mr. Brown closed the door back on Mr. Bradshaw's truck, and then eyewitness testimony confirmed that at that point in time, Brandon Bradshaw pulled a .40 caliber Smith & Wesson gun, brandished that towards Mr. Brown. At that point in time, Mr. Brown pulled a weapon, discharging that weapon three times, striking Mr. Bradshaw ... ."

Cohron is not aware of any relationship between the witness, who provided information about Bradshaw brandishing a weapon, and Bradshaw or Brown. After Brown fired three shots at Bradshaw, Brown pulled out his badge.

"To the best of our knowledge, the witness statements that observed the incident did not see Mr. Brown pull a badge until after the shooting occurred," Cohron said. Bradshaw's family and friends remain puzzled as to why Brown presented his badge at all if he was off-duty during the incident.

"I am very mad still," said Bradshaw's best friend and Cord of 3 bandmate, Randall Erskine. "I don't know how to explain how I feel – I keep thinking 'what would Brandon do if it was me.'"

Cohron said at the news conference that both Brown and Bradshaw were treated like any other citizen and that no preferential treatment was given to Brown due to his employment as court security officer at the justice center. 

Cohron lists Kentucky's self-defense statutes as having played a factor in this case.

"Kentucky's self-protection law is an absolute law – one of the most stringent self-protection statutes, including a no retreat clause that puts some absolutes in what can be done on these type cases," Cohron said. "No retreat is that, if deadly physical force is presented to someone, they're allowed to use deadly physical force in response to that, and that person also has no duty to retreat or run if deadly physical force is used against them."

Cohron said he did not know Brown, and that he consulted with Bradshaw's father and wife shortly after the incident to address any possible concerns about Cohron prosecuting the case.

"If they had any concerns, I would be more than happy to have a special prosecutor brought in to review the investigation, and if necessary, present the case to the Warren County grand jury," he said.

Cohron declined to comment on whether Bradshaw had any drugs or alcohol in his system during the incident, and said that he's not aware of Brown being tested for drugs and alcohol.

"We're not letting it rest. Brandon will not be forgotten," said Bradshaw's mother Jennifer Epley, moments after hearing the grand jury decision. "I have to keep fighting. What would they do if it was their son? My war is just beginning."

0
0
0
0
0

(23) comments

Road_Fatigue

I just want to state that, I do not know either of these men. From what I've read both have good standing in the community. I do support the Stand Your Ground Laws, that a person has the right to defend themselves.

My question is, "Where does stand your ground start ? " At what point in the altercation did self defense
kick in, and for whom? Where both men standing there ground ? I guess to me it would come down to, "Who had there hand on there weapon first ? " That person would be the aggressor.

Just thinking with what little I have to think with.

They Call Me Bad News

Road_Fatigue: "I would just like to see a transcript of the grand jury proceedings. Where all the right questions ask and answered?"

I would pay money to get you a copy of the transcript and I would pay 10X that amount to read your analysis of it.

Road_Fatigue

I just have a couple of questions, about the article. 1. When Mr. Brown got out of his truck and approached Mr. Bradshaw's truck, was Mr. Brown's weapon holstered or was it in his hand? I suggest if it was in his hand
( hidden or not) he was not standing his ground, he was advancing. 2. When Mr. Brown got out of his truck, why did he approach Mr. Bradshaw's truck instead of moving to a safer and better protected location
( maybe in front of his truck) and call 911. Then if Mr. Bradshaw started to approach him with a weapon it would be standing you ground. 3. Was a 911 call placed by Mr. Brown or Mr. Bradshaw before the shooting?
Isn't law enforcement personal trained to call for back up in dangerous situations.
I would just like to see a transcript of the grand jury proceedings. Where all the right questions ask and answered?
It is a shame, two families lives changed forever over a road rage incident.

They Call Me Bad News

@Elvisinky: I'm not saying you're the village idiot, but if we had one, you would be a great candidate.

@justiceiscoming: There's a reason why no one in the lawyer business is making that point.

@Greg: Why would they perform a drug/alcohol test on TB if his behavior didn't indicate that he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol? The truck being in drive and the window being up aren't relevant. Why wasn't TB arrested at the scene? His argument was self-defense and it was confirmed by the statement(s) given by an eyewitness (or eyewitnesses). I don't know what benefit your acquaintance could have provided since what he saw happened after the fact.

We know that BB was the first to make the threat of use of deadly force and TB used deadly force in response. This has been confirmed by at least one eyewitness who doesn't have any skin in the game. All the legal hairsplitting by laymen won't change that.

elvisinky

They Call Me Bad News.....Has yet again left us with his/her witty insight.

Elvisinky:"I do not know any facts"

You got that one right!

@ They Call Me Bad News .......Your a troll who goes from story to story adding only a stick to stir the pot. By all means pick a cheek, part the hair and pucker.

Bob Talley

justiceiscoming

When Brown "closed the door back on Bradshaws truck,..." he committed the crime of at least 2nd degree unlawful imprisonment, if not 1st degree unlawful imprisonment (krs 509.020/509.030). At that point in time Brown became the primary aggressor, and after Bradshaw "brandished" his weapon to protect himself from being a victim of any further crime, "Quickdraw" Brown shot him dead. Self defense, I don't see it.

gregj83

@theycallmebadnews

No, im upset at the way it was handled. That doesnt mean I necessarily believe they didnt come up with the right outcome. So I'm skeptical of the info they spoon fed us, I should be there is reason to be. From the non-drug test, to Bradshaws truck being in drive, the window being up, no arrest after the incident which would happen to any of us more than likely, etc. And if Bradshaw had pulled a gun and had the drop on Brown its unlikely that Brown would have been able to unholster his weapon and get shots off without Bradshaw firing a shot. Also, a friend of mine's dad works in a business next door. He had heard the shots and looked outside within a few seconds. When he walked over to tell the cops he had witnessed the events after the shots they basically didnt wish to hear it. Now maybe they had enough witnesses that had seen after the shooting but you would think they would at least wish to spend 2 minutes talking to him. I'll say it again, the way this was handled smells very sour.

They Call Me Bad News

Elvisinky:"I do not know any facts"

You got that one right!

elvisinky

I have read the stories printed in the BGDN. I have seen the WBKO coverage.I have seen the videos of public officials. I still think there are more questions than answers. Why didn't the nurse attempt life saving measures ? Was she required by law to do so ? Why was Brown not cited for leaving the scene ? Why was Brown not arrested, read his rights,blood tested ? Maybe he was my line of questions are way off.

I am not clear on exactly how it went from road rage to vehicle doors being shut and guns drawn and being discharged. I can see no reason why at any time Brown felt the need to display a badge that held no authority.

So if Bradshaw showed a weapon then in theory he had the drop on Brown yet Brown was fast enough to pull his own weapon ?

Q) Was the weapon shown or pointed at Brown ?

"Testimony and evidence show that Bradshaw then pulled in behind Brown in the parking lot of Michelle's Consignment Boutique. "

Q) Pulled behind how ? What was the distance between the two vehicles ? In what position were the cars ?

" Bradshaw entered the parking lot of Enterprise Rent-A-Car at 1125 U.S. 31-W By-Pass, and Brown was seen pulling in shortly after at Michelle's Consignment Boutique at 1135 U.S. 31-W By-Pass."

Q) Why did Brown come back ? It's clear he was able to continue and keep going yet he made the choice to comeback.

Folks there are a great many details needing to be fully explained that would and could make a huge difference in actually knowing the truth.

Public trust is an important thing and right now the public trust is in low supply. I have never thought Cohron to be very competent and I question why he just didn't insist on an outside prosecutor.

I do not know any facts. I wasn't there. I don't claim to be smarter than I am. I may be wrong but for right now I certainly think there is more to this and would like to see an outside source investigate and present an opinion. Two plus two should equal four but in this case the numbers just are not adding up.

Bob Talley

Voter / Taxpayer / Vet / Somewhat Suspicious

They Call Me Bad News

@Greg: If you have material evidence that was not taken into consideration, let's hear it. You people made your decision on the day of the incident and were waiting for the court to validate it. You're not concerned with justice, you're mad because the court didn't validate your knee jerk reaction.

gregj83

@zppy: what laws would you propose that would have stopped this from happening?

gregj83

@theycallmebadnews

The handling of this incident stunk from the get-go. There was good reason to be critical of this investigation and there still is reason to be critical of the situation. And you would be nieve to believe that those in charge of this investigation absolutely could not be bias and/or capable of mishandling this or any other case.

zppy

GUN LAW - need better laws to keep guns away! If neither had guns - this would not have ended in death.

Larry Fiehn

Amen to what goldenoldie2251 said. Only two parties know what truly happen and one of them, most unfortunately is dead and can't tell HIS side of the story. Investigation of a sworn officer investigated by a law-enforcement agency. I don't believe this was impartial, and tends to again show that if you're in law-enforcement, you can get away with most anything.

bgkyusa2012

Matthew 26:52.

Bob Hayter

All indications point to Tommy acted in self defense and it was reviewed in a court of law. Unfortunately it became a gunfight, but he was well within his right to self defense. The law is the law!

acarlton

It is very much considered murder. First of all yes I would believe that Brandon would have tried to exit his vehicle had his vehicle been in park. But by the simple fact that Brandon's truck rolled into Browns as a result of being shot clearly shows his truck was not in park. Self defense involves shooting to take the threat away not shooting to kill. He did not have to shoot three times. And if it was self defense why not call for immediate back up or help instead of standing over Brandon's truck with his gun drawn and not allowing anyone to help. In sorry but as Brandon's friends and family we will not let this be swept under threat rug. We will do everything to see that justice is properly served and that Tommy Brown will always regret his actions.

Big_Bird

Based solely on the facts included in the article (I'm not pretending to know all the facts before the grand jury) it appears that the grand jury struggled with Brandon's response to Brown's action of shutting the door. While it is certainly threatening to be shut into your own car and not able to leave, but it hardly warrants brandishing a firearm. In my opinion, it appears Brown shut the door to prevent Brandon from exiting the vehicle so as to prevent a physical altercation. Thus, the moment Brandon brandished the firearm, Brown had to react in a manner of like force, i.e. self defense. Obviously I don't know what the grand jury discussed, but that is a huge issue I would have with this situation.

In my opinion and based on the facts presented in the article, the grand jury correctly failed to indict Brown. It's definitely an unfortunate situation, but regardless of your position on guns, a person must have the right to protect himself. It doesn't matter who initiated the confrontation. If it was Brown, he seemingly disengaged by pulling into the parking lot. Brandon then re-engaged Brown when he pulled in behind Brown. Brandon could have simply left the area and continued his trip, but he didn't. Yes, someone died and it's terrible, but calling this murder is ridiculous.

They Call Me Bad News

The people who are so critical of the handling of this case are an embarrassment. They ignore facts that don't suit their bias and they make subtle and not so subtle implications about everyone involved except for the deceased. If the facts of the case were on their side, they would point them out. If the law was on their side, they would point that out.

They aren't making points about either, which should tell you something.

They don't want justice, they want an outcome.

goldenoldie2251

A special procesecutor should have handled this ---that would have helped everyone concerned --unfortunately regardless of the Grand Jury return of no true bill--Mr. Brown will forever be under a shadow due to the way this has been handled..sad for the entire community of Bowling Green and surrounding counties who have lost faith in the legal system.

concerned AMERICAN

WHY was Bradshaw tested for drugs and alcohol and not the shooter Brown, looks like both would have been tested, more so the shooter Brown. We all know of cases where it was later deemed self-defense and the person committing the crime was arrested and also indicted by the grand jury, but this is not special treatment???? It is a terrible tragedy for the Bradshaw family, and does not look like justice has been served. In my opinion, it gives anyone carrying a weapon the idea they can use it with no consequences,just get someone to vouch for it being self-defence and ur go off free, while the family is left to make the best of a bad situation.[sad]

Robert Kardashian Sr

Since this tragedy began, there has been a passionate request for answers. Answers (albeit very sad) have been provided. Now an eclectic community and a church (?) must stop lynch mob mentality. It's time for A publicly supported (city & county) entity - Skypac and a local church (crossland) should take a stand with their leadership promoting healing, forgiveness and love. Those entities should stop holding public media and social media "trials". Don't stand in judgement because those shoes are awful hard to fill.

THINK

RIALDA ZUKIC has exhibited and continues to exhibit a very INCITEFUL writing style.
One should examine the facts before rushing to judgement.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.