Lieutenant John Eaton Bradshaw

Lieutenant John Eaton Bradshaw

Tempe Police Department, Arizona

End of Watch Sunday, September 20, 1987

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John Eaton Bradshaw

Lieutenant John Bradshaw was shot and killed while responding to an officer needs assistance call.

The call came in from an officer whose weapon was stolen by an inmate he was transporting to the hospital. The suspect then took a motorcycle driver hostage and fled the scene. Lieutenant Bradshaw stopped up the road from the suspect and waited for his arrival at Hohokam Highway and University Drive.

When the suspect saw the patrol car he fired one shot which struck Lieutenant Bradshaw in the chest. The suspect was later shot by Department of Public Safety officers.

Lieutenant Bradshaw had served with the Tempe Police Department for 20 years. He was survived by his wife and four children.

Lieutenant Bradshaw was a graduate of the 130th Session of the FBI National Academy.


  • Age 45
  • Tour 20 years
  • Badge 23

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Shot and killed

FBI National Academy, FBINA

Most Recent Reflection

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I was 26 years old when Lt. Bradshaw was shot. I was rookie officer with less than 18 months experience. They day he was shot was a Sunday and I was working the day shift. I had my first "ride-a-long" which was a high school student interested in becoming an officer.

I was working the southside of Tempe out of the Kiwanis substation where Lt. Bradshaw also worked. The border between north and south was Broadway Rd. In those days there were very strict rules about leaving your assigned area without supervisor approval.

Lt Bradshaw was shot a half mile north of Broadway Rd. After being shot however his vehicle travelled south past Broadway Rd. into the southern area. Being a new officer, I stayed in my assigned area afraid to go outside. Instead, I drove to the Kiwanis substation and called dispatch. This is when I learned Lt. Bradshaw had died. I broke down and cried. My "ride-along" soon after asked to go home. I don't know if he ever became an officer.

I retired from Tempe after 28 years of service. I have never forgotten that day or for not leaving my beat and going to the scene and least holding Lt. Bradshaw's hand.

Lt. Bradshaw was as good as they come. He was the best example of what a police officer should be for a new officer. His two memorable quotes were "Proud to be here happy to Serve" and " Walk softly and carry a big Stick". I didn't know Lt. Bradshaw long, but he left a life long impression on me.

Thank you sir.

Detective Matt Harris Z400
Temmpe Police Department

August 25, 2019

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