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    Rudyard Bradshaw Rudyard Beaverbrook Bradshaw was shot at Rock Creek in 1995 by off-duty D.C. police officer Michelle Bullard after an argument. (By Rick Bowmer – The Washington Post)
On May 26, 1995, Officer Michelle Bullard began her Memorial Day weekend at the police academy shooting range, requalifying to use her Glock 9mm pistol. It was her first time there in nearly four years, despite police orders that officers train with their weapons at least twice a year. Then Bullard took her teenage daughter fishing in Rock Creek, near the Watergate Hotel. There, she used her Glock again.

The man she shot at 7:10 p.m., 47-year-old Jamaican-born handyman Rudyard Beaverbrook Bradshaw, also had been fishing. Bradshaw got off work about noon, drank two 16-ounce cans of beer, then headed by subway for the fishing spot, according to his subsequent sworn testimony.

Bradshaw since 1994 had been convicted three times for misdemeanors – disturbing the peace, assault and trespassing, according to court records in Maryland and the District. When he asked Bullard how the fishing was, she first told him to mind his own business, according to a deposition he gave later. He said that he cursed at her and that she told him she was an officer and would lock him up.

In her statement to police, Bullard said Bradshaw was belligerent and harassing, telling her he liked aggressive women. She flagged a U.S. Park Police officer, who got Bradshaw's assurance that he was leaving. Soon afterward, Bradshaw returned "and continued with the foul language," Bullard said.

Bradshaw said in his deposition that he moved downstream after the Park Police officer intervened. But having no luck in his new location, he said, he rolled in his line, removed his sinkers and tried skimming his hook across the top of the water, using a chunk of herring as bait. Suddenly his line was pulling. "I felt I had a big one, then. I was happy. I yanked it and started winding it and discovered – it was just that her line was crossed mine."

They argued and Bullard displayed her Glock, according to both of their accounts. Bradshaw advanced, telling her "he had a .357 and he would kill me," Bullard told police investigators. She said that when Bradshaw reached toward his waist as if to grab a gun, "I fired my weapon and he fell to the ground."

Bradshaw said in his deposition that he never claimed to have a gun and was incredulous when Bullard pulled hers. "What . . . you going to do with that? Shoot me?" he said he asked.

"All I heard," Bradshaw added, "was 'pow!' "

Police reports said Bullard shot Bradshaw twice – in the stomach and buttocks. But Washington Hospital Center records show that another bullet hit Bradshaw's neck just below his left ear. The bullet traveled to his right shoulder blade, where it remains lodged.

The department's final report was written a month after the shooting by Bullard's 1st District supervisor, Lt. Beverly Medlock, who left the department in March after 26 years. Medlock's report, based on the police statements of Bullard and a woman who heard shots from a distance, stated flatly that Bullard fired only two rounds. Two spent shell casings were found at the site. But police reports give conflicting descriptions of what model gun Bullard carried – and therefore how many bullets it held and how many she fired.

Medlock said in an interview that she did not have access to medical reports and did not interview Bullard. "I went by the information that was available," she said.

After reviewing the police reports on the incident for The Post, Medlock said the conflicting descriptions of Bullard's gun, the number of bullets fired and the location of Bradshaw's injuries did not affect her judgment that the shooting was justified.

"This is all we're concerned about: You felt your life or the life of another person was in danger. And the only person able to articulate that is the officer," Medlock said. "I'm surprised she didn't empty her gun, to tell you the truth, no matter where [the bullets] landed."

Police officials declared the shooting justified four months after the incident. Police charged Bradshaw with a felony count of making threats, but for undisclosed reasons, prosecutors dropped the charge in August 1995.

Bradshaw has filed a D.C. Superior Court lawsuit alleging he was wrongly shot and falsely arrested. Bradshaw's medical treatment has cost more than $80,000, said his attorney, Mary Beth Gowen.

Bullard, 38, has won several police commendations. In October 1997, she was suspended from the department after being charged with felony assault of a neighbor. The charges were reduced, and she was reinstated after a federal judge acquitted her.

She declined to discuss the incident at Rock Creek. "I really have nothing to say as far as the shooting I was involved in," Bullard told The Post.

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