The federal civil lawsuit filed by Brandon Bradshaw's widow against Tommy Brown and other law enforcement officials was dismissed Wednesday.
Bradshaw, 27, was shot three times Feb. 26, 2013, by Brown in the parking lot of Michelle's Consignment on U.S. 31-W By-Pass. He died four days later at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.
Brown, at the time an off-duty Warren County court security officer, maintained he acted in self-defense. A grand jury considered evidence and testimony in the case and declined to charge Brown with a crime.
Brown, who later resigned his court security officer post, was accused in the lawsuit of committing common law battery against Bradshaw, a youth theater director and one-time Warren County constable.
Chief U.S. District Judge Joseph McKinley issued a four-page order dismissing the case with prejudice after being informed that everyone involved in the suit has resolved their claims against one another.
Attorneys involved in the case said Heidi Bradshaw agreed to have the case dismissed.
Generally, a dismissal with prejudice means that a judgment is final and a plaintiff's claims cannot be refiled.
Attorneys Brad Sowell and Gary Logsdon, who represented the Bradshaw estate, did not return calls seeking comment.
Heidi Bradshaw brought the lawsuit in February in U.S. District Court against Brown, Warren County Sheriff Jerry "Peanuts" Gaines, sheriff's Maj. Randy Hargis, the city of Bowling Green, Bowling Green Police Department Chief Doug Hawkins, Medical Center EMS and unknown city, county and Kentucky State Police agents.
City police Lt. Col. Kevin Wiles and former KSP Post 3 Commander Bobby Murray were also named as defendants in the lawsuit, but claims against them were dismissed prior to Wednesday's action.
"It brings closure to the situation for all involved and allows them to move forward with their lives," said Bowling Green attorney Paul Lawless, who represented Brown.
McKinley's order does not specify how the claims were resolved. Heidi Bradshaw sought an unspecified amount of damages for funeral and burial expenses, medical expenses, earnings her husband would have accumulated had he lived and mental and physical pain and suffering.
Lawless declined to comment on whether the Bradshaw estate received any kind of settlement.
Bowling Green City Attorney Gene Harmon, who represented the city and Hawkins, was unavailable for comment this morning.
In her lawsuit, Heidi Bradshaw claimed her husband was shot without due process, that law enforcement failed to preserve evidence and exhibited a reckless disregard for and deliberate indifference to Brandon Bradshaw's life through conduct that she alleged was intentional, reckless, deliberate, wanton and/or malicious.
A member of a responding agency reported that Bradshaw was "10-7" – police code for deceased – before EMS personnel approached Bradshaw and found he still had a strong pulse, causing at least a seven-minute delay of possibly life-saving medical treatment, Heidi Bradshaw claimed, accusing Gaines, Hawkins and Hargis, who manages the county's court security division, of failing to train and supervise the officers below them.
Attorney Wesley Milliken, who represented Gaines and Hargis, said that his clients were not liable because of the circumstances of the case.
"By statute, when court personnel are away from the courthouse they have no police authority," Milliken said. "(Brown) was off-duty, he had no police authority and it was his personal handgun, so we didn't really feel like Sheriff Gaines and Maj. Hargis had any liability at all for what happened ... . They're glad it's resolved, though obviously it's a tragic situation and everybody regrets that it happened as you do anytime something terrible like this happens."
The Kentucky State Police investigated the shooting, finding that Brown and Bradshaw had been involved in an apparent road rage incident on the bypass.
Following a near-collision, Brown pulled alongside Bradshaw's vehicle, asked if Bradshaw was still a constable and told him to pull over, according to the lawsuit.
Bradshaw pulled into the Enterprise Rent-A-Car parking lot and circled to the neighboring consignment shop parking lot, where Brown was waiting.
Brown left his vehicle and approached Bradshaw's truck. Brown would later tell the KSP that he remained calm throughout the incident and did not lose his temper, though two witnesses would also tell police that Brown appeared "agitated" or "hostile."
State police records of the investigation show a witness who reported seeing Brandon Bradshaw pull a gun from somewhere in his truck and point it in Brown 's direction.
Bowling Green attorney Aaron Smith, who represented the EMS, did not return a message seeking comment. He had argued in court filings that Brandon Bradshaw was "negligent in failing to exercise ordinary care for (his) own safety" and that EMS personnel made no determination at the scene that Bradshaw was dead.