On Tuesday, June 7, 2011, just after midnight, a man positively identified as the suspect responsible for eight home invasions and/or occupied burglaries in the north Lakeland area was shot and killed by PCSO deputies after he pointed a handgun at the deputies and refused to surrender.
At just after midnight that morning, PCSO deputies, who have been working around the clock during the months of May and June to identify the suspect or suspects responsible for a series of armed home invasions, received information that the suspect vehicle was in the area of the 3200 block of Crutchfield Road.
Deputies responded to the area and located the suspect vehicle, a gold 1996 Lincoln Town Car, backed into a vacant lot. They then saw a black male suspect dressed in all dark clothing, with a black stocking cap on his head, and a camouflage bandanna around his neck, walking east down Crutchfield Road, away from the suspect vehicle. The suspect walked directly towards two PCSO deputies parked in a surveillance vehicle. The suspect walked around the PCSO unmarked vehicle and headed back west. As he did so, the deputies in the surveillance vehicle saw a black handgun in the suspect’s hand.
The deputies immediately exited their vehicle, identified themselves as PCSO deputies, and demanded that the suspect drop his weapon and surrender. Instead, the suspect pointed the handgun at the deputies and ran. Three more deputies who were also doing surveillance on the suspect ran toward the suspect, identified themselves as PCSO deputies, and demanded he drop his firearm and surrender. The armed suspect continued to flee in the direction of a wooded area.
The five deputies fired their agency-issued Glock .40 caliber handguns at the suspect to eliminate the deadly threat posed by him. Fifteen (15) shots were fired between the five deputies. The suspect was declared deceased on scene. The handgun, a stolen Taurus 9 mm, was located on the ground near the suspect.
The suspect has been positively identified as 29-year-old Eric Terrell Bradwell, DOB 12/22/1981. He is originally from Gadsden County but is known to stay with relatives in the Lakeland area.
The firearm Bradwell had in his possession has been confirmed as the one stolen during the first home invasion investigated by PCSO, on May 10, 2011, from 4646 Old Hwy 37 in Lakeland.
The suspect vehicle was stolen on May 8, 2011, from 3365 Swindell Road. Bradwell’s clothing, shoes, and gloves match the victims’ descriptions of the armed home invasion suspect’s clothing, shoes, and gloves.
Bradwell’s criminal history is as follows: 2/13/96 – arrested for Burglary of a Dwelling; 3/1/96 – arrested for Burglary of a Dwelling; 12/26/96 – arrested for Strong Armed Robbery; 2/11/97 – arrested for Battery, Aggravated Assault With Deadly Weapon; 2/2/98 – arrested for Armed Burglary, Larceny, sentenced to 2 years State Prison and 3 years Probation; 7/24/00 – arrested for Armed Burglary of Conveyance or Dwelling, sentenced to 5 years State Prison; 7/28/00 – arrested for VOP; 6/15/05 – arrested for VOP; 12/21/08 – arrested for Burglary, Resisting Arrest, sentenced to 1 year 6 months State Prison; 4/30/10 – arrested for Burglary, Grand Theft, Dealing in Stolen Property, sentenced to 11 months 29 days County Jail.
The deputies involved in the shooting are: 29-year-old Sam Bunch (8 years with the agency); 28-year-old Christopher Diaz (2 years with the agency); 31-year-old Troy Lung (7 years with the agency); 36-year-old Shawnee McCawley (10 years with the agency); and 31-year-old Steven Valk (6 years with the agency). All of the deputies are currently assigned to the Criminal Investigations Division.
This is an ongoing investigation. It is standard PCSO policy for mandated, independent investigations to be conducted. The PCSO Administrative Investigations Section is currently conducting an internal administrative review. It is standard PCSO policy for the deputies involved in the shooting to be placed on paid administrative leave while the internal investigation is being conducted. The PCSO Bureau of Criminal Investigations is conducting the death investigation. The Polk County Medical Examiner will conduct the autopsy. The State Attorney’s Office for the 10th Judicial Circuit responded to the crime scene and is conducting its own review. The SAO will also review investigative reports and findings of the Sheriff’s Office and Medical Examiner’s Office. It will report its findings related to the shooting.
The seven home invasions, one stolen vehicle, and one occupied burglary Bradwell is suspected of committing are as follows:
1st armed home invasion: Saturday, May 7th, 7:00 a.m. – 425 Chestnut Road, Lakeland – The suspect awakened the two homeowners, pointed a black handgun at them, took their wallets, cash, credit cards, and cell phones, and fled the scene.
Later that same day, May 7, 2011, a woman’s gold Lincoln Town Car is stolen from her home at 3365 Swindell Road in Lakeland.
2nd armed home invasion: Tuesday, May 10th, 2:30 a.m. – 4646 Old Hwy 37, Lakeland – The suspect awakened the two homeowners, pointed a black handgun at them, and demanded their jewelry – he had already taken credit cards from the female victim’s purse and stole a 9 mm black Taurus handgun. The suspect then fled the scene.
3rd armed home invasion: Tuesday, May 10th, 4:00 a.m. – 1446 North Wabash Avenue, Lakeland – The suspect pointed a handgun at the female victim and demanded that she and her husband stay in the bedroom. He ransacked the home, then fled the scene. Suspect was wearing a maroon hoodie – later found at the suspect’s grandmother’s home.
4th ATTEMPTED armed home invasion: Wednesday, May 11th, 1:30 a.m. – 4201 Kathleen Road, Lakeland – The female victim was awakened by a sound outside of her home. She looked outside and saw an unknown black male suspect attempting to kick in the door to the home, after having disconnected the electricity and phone cables. She screamed and the suspect fled the scene.
5th armed home invasion: Wednesday, May 11th, 3:30 a.m. – 1160 Galloway Road, Lakeland – The suspect forced the female victim at gunpoint to wake up and drive him to the bank to withdraw money from her account. After taking her cash, the suspect fled the scene.
6th armed home invasion: Sunday, May 22nd, 2:30 a.m. – 3033 Sutton Road, Lakeland –The suspect demanded the female victim take him to an ATM to remove money from her account. When she refused to comply with the suspect’s demands, he threatened to rape and kill her, hit her in the face with his handgun, then fled the scene.
7th armed home invasion: Friday, May 27th, 1:15 a.m. – 3939 Deeson Road, Lakeland - The victim was awakened by two black male suspects who robbed him of his cash, and stole a .380 caliber handgun, a 40” flat screen TV, and a bottle of wine. The suspects then forced the victim to accompany them to a bank in their car and withdraw $500.00 from the ATM. They let the victim out near his home, and then fled the area. The victim was able to provide a fairly detailed description of the suspect vehicle. The two suspects stated they wanted to shoot something and fired a round out of the window while enroute to the bank.
Occupied burglary: Wednesday, June 1st, 1:30 a.m. – 4125 Swindell Road, Lakeland - The suspect entered the victim’s home and stole her purse and jewelry while she was asleep.