105 David Brady – Florida Fish and Wildlife

While patrolling the Florida Panhandle in August 2015, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Officer David Brady suddenly found himself in the fight of his life; what had seemed a routine stop quickly became an open-water gun battle. Shot twice, weighed down by equipment and treading water with a deflated life jacket, he continued to return fire until the would-be murderer – himself shot – finally sped away. Officer Brady joined us at NAWEOA to share his riveting story of survival, resolve, and preparedness.

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Here’s what we discuss:

  • 17-year FWC veteran; Dive Team, Special Operations Group
  • Nothing is ever routine
  • Every encounter is different
  • Call was originally a disturbance complaint
  • Two ‘kids’ on a sailboat
  • Officer noticed alcohol and expired registration
  • Shooter went into the cabin to retrieve paperwork
  • Emerged from the cabin with a gun
  • Leapt off the boat as gunshots rang out
  • First shot passed through Brady’s shoulder – and life jacket
  • “He was hunting me.”
  • Returned fire from behind the patrol boat’s engines
  • Shooter jumped onto patrol boat, still shooting
  • Swimming, shooting, and reloading in full gear
  • Shooter then tried repeatedly to run over Brady
  • Brady continued firing, hitting shooter in the hand
  • Left for dead
  • A nearby Coast Guard vessel approaches
  • “I’ve been shot, and they stole my boat.”
  • The importance of dispatchers
  • Shooter and partner were arrested less than two hours later
  • News spread quickly on social media
  • Reunited with family at the hospital
  • Kevlar vest and training made the difference
  • Train to win
  • Kevlar vests are now mandatory to wear
  • “I’m still here.”
  • It only takes one time


Hosts: Wayne Saunders and John Nores

Producer: Jay Ammann

Art & Design: Ashley Hannett

Research / Content Coordinator: Stacey DesRoches


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