Warren County Grand Jury: No Indictment in Brandon Bradshaw Shooting

Mar 27, 2013

Kentucky State Police troopers and Warren County court security officers stood guard inside the Warren County Justice Center before the results of a grand jury investigation were formally revealed.
Credit Kevin Willis

A Warren County grand jury has returned no indictments in the shooting death of 27-year-old Brandon Bradshaw of Bowling Green.

In a news conference Wednesday evening, Warren County Commonwealth's Attorney Chris Cohron announced that grand jury members earlier in the day decided Tommy Brown acted within the law when he shot Bradshaw three times on Feb. 26.

The investigation into the shooting was carried out by the Kentucky State Police.

Bradshaw died from his wounds Mar. 2 at a hospital in Nashville.

Brown is a Warren County court security officer. He was not on duty or in uniform at the time of the shooting.

Bradshaw and Brown confronted each other in the parking lot of a business along the U.S. 31-W Bypass in Bowling Green. During Wednesday's announcement, Cohron explained what eye-witnesses say led up to the shooting.

Cohron says several witnesses saw Bradshaw and Brown aggressively jockeying back-and-forth in their vehicles south of 10th Street in Bowling Green, with the cars following each other side-by-side and pulling in front of each other repeatedly.

Witnesses told the grand jury that Bradshaw pulled into the parking lot of an Enterprise rental car business along the bypass, with Brown stopping in the parking lot of Michelle's Consignment Boutique, next to  Enterprise. Witnesses say Bradshaw then pulled behind Brown's vehicle.

Tommy Brown allegedly then got out of his vehicle and approached Bradshaw's car, with the two men engaging in a verbal altercation. Witnesses say Bradshaw attempted to exit his vehicle, with Brown pushing the vehicle door closed.

Commonwealth's Attorney Chris Cohron says witnesses told investigators Bradshaw then pulled a .40 caliber Smith & Wesson firearm. Brown then pulled his firearm and shot through Bradshaw's driver-side window, striking Bradshaw three times.

Cohron says Bradshaw's gun was loaded, but that a round was not chambered at the time of the altercation.

Following the Feb. 26 shooting, many in the Bowling Green-Warren County area asked why Brown wasn't arrested or even held while the investigation was taking place.

Cohron told reporters Wednesday that Kentucky has one of the most all-encompassing use-of-force laws in the nation. He said the law allows investigators to take into consideration the possible role self-defense plays in such altercations. Cohron says the commonwealth has a "no retreat" clause in the law that states an individual is under no obligation to retreat if he or she is faced with deadly force.

Cohron said the fact that Brown is a court security officer made no difference in how the case was handled. The Warren County Commonwealth's Attorney says he gave Brandon Bradshaw's family the right to ask for another prosecutor to handle the case if they were uncomfortable with him in any way.

Cohron says he personally did not know Brown, who works as a court bailiff in Warren County. Cohron says he had met Brandon Bradshaw before, when Bradshaw was affiliated with the Public Theatre of Kentucky.

According to Cohron, the first person he alerted Wednesday regarding the grand jury findings was the attorney for Brandon Bradshaw's family.

Cohron says what happened Feb. 26 along the U.S. 31-W Bypass was a "senseless tragedy" for not only the two men involved, but for the family members and friends of those involved, as well.