Chief: Officer Bradley's recovery will require time and effort

Chief: Officer Bradley's recovery will require time and effort
Youlanda Hinton
Youlanda Hinton
Helen Struebing
Helen Struebing

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Gulfport Police Chief Leonard Papania identified the officer shot over the weekend as Dolton Bradley. He said Bradley remains hospitalized and is in stable, but guarded condition after being shot twice in his lower abdomen.

"We appreciate all the support that has been given to the police department and the Bradley Family," Chief Papania said. "Officer Bradley's recovery will require time and effort. I ask that you keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers."

Papania also said an account has been set up at Bancorp South to benefit the Bradley Family, for anyone wishing to donate.

Corey Johnson, 21, was arrested and charged with attempted murder Sunday after allegedly shooting Officer Bradley near the corner of 20th Street and 46th Avenue. Johnson is currently being held under a $1 million bond at the Harrison County Jail. At his initial court appearance Monday, he requested a court-appointed attorney.

According to Harrison County Prosecuting Attorney Herman Cox, the gunman used a 9mm pistol to shoot the officer.

According to Gulfport Police Chief Leonard Papania, an officer pulled over a car around 4:20 a.m. a few blocks east of the Seabee Base's Broad Avenue entrance for a traffic violation. Cox said the officer was with his partner at the time. Cox also confirmed a woman was driving the vehicle that was pulled over.

The prosecuting attorney said as one of the officers approached the car, Johnson and one other person took off running. At that point, Officer Bradley chased after one of the suspects, later identified as Corey Johnson. Cox said as the officer reached Johnson, they got into some sort of physical altercation.

"The defendant pulled out his gun and shot the officer twice," said Cox when discussing what happened during that struggle.

Cox said the other officer heard the shots fired and ran toward 20th Street and 46th Avenue.

"He still had a hold of him, he wasn't going away, even after being shot twice," Cox said about the wounded officer. Another officer later arrived and assisted the officer with making the arrest.

Police say Johnson was wanted by the Gulfport Municipal Court on outstanding bench and capias warrants and he was out on bond for an unrelated drug charge at the time of the shooting. Cox told WLOX News the earliest Johnson's preliminary hearing will be held is December 3rd.

We've learned Johnson is supposed to be in court in mid-January. That's when he is expected to stand trial on a possession with intent to distribute cocaine charge. Johnson is being held at the Harrison County Jail on a $1 million bond.

Meanwhile, residents in the Gulfport neighborhood where the shooting happened are still in shock after the routine traffic stop turned violent.

"Anything can happen anywhere," said Helen Struebing, who has lived on 46th Avenue for the last eight years. In that time, she said she's never been as afraid as she was Sunday morning.

"It was pretty scary, and all I kept thinking was I had my grandchildren in there and I ran back in to check on them and make sure they were ok," said Struebing.

This was the first time she had experienced anything like the shooting in her neighborhood.

"Actually it's been a very quiet neighborhood that's why we chose to live over here," said Struebing.

Several others throughout the neighborhood agree. For the 25 years that Phierra Moody has lived in this house, she said she's never worried about the safety of her family there.

"I was just in shock, this is not the type of neighborhood that we live in," said Moody.

That feeling of shock is something that longtime resident Youlanda Hinton will remember for a long time.

"Nothing like this has ever happened in our neighborhood," said Hinton.

She noticed the blue lights flashing when she walked into her kitchen around 4am Sunday morning.

"And I walked out and sure enough they had crime scene tape on the yield signs to block all this off."

Hinton said the importance of securing her home seems all the more relevant. It's something she never thought she would experience right outside her front door.

"It's like a twilight zone. This doesn't happen in my neighborhood. Not at all, not at all," said Hinton.

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