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Widow Says Lawman Killed From Road Rage

(CN) - In a fit of road rage an off-duty sheriff's officer shot a man to death after they nearly collided on a Kentucky highway, the widow claims in Federal Court.

Heidi Bradshaw sued Thomas Brown, the city of Bowling Green and officers of the Bowling Green Police Department, Warren County Sheriff's Office and Kentucky State Police, for the estate of her husband Brandon Bradshaw and their three children.

Brown was employed as a bailiff by the Warren County Sheriff's Office, but was off-duty the day he shot Bradshaw, according to the lawsuit in Bowling Green Federal Court.

Heidi Bradshaw claims that Brown "instigated" the shooting after he "perceived that Brandon Bradshaw's vehicle came close to striking Brown's vehicle in traffic on 31W Bypass" in Bowling Green.

Bradshaw was driving a white Ford F-150 and Brown a blue GMC pickup, according to a police report of the incident obtained by WBKO, an ABC affiliate.

"During the incident, Brown pulled alongside Brandon Bradshaw's vehicle, asked if Bradshaw was 'still a constable' and then ordered Bradshaw to pull over," Heidi Bradshaw says in the complaint, citing a 911 recording of a call made by Brown's wife, Mindy Brown.

The lawsuit continues: "Bradshaw pulled into the Enterprise Rent A Car parking lot, located at 1125 31W Bypass, Bowling Green, Kentucky, and circled around to the Michelle's Consignment parking lot, where Brown was waiting.

"Brown exited his vehicle, approached Brandon Bradshaw's truck and, after a brief altercation, proceeded to draw his handgun (a .40 Caliber Glock) and shot Bradshaw three (3) times-once in the hand, once in the arm, and once in the base of Bradshaw's skull." (Parentheses in complaint.)

Brown then flashed his badge to people watching from the consignment shop as he stood by Bradshaw's truck, and waited for law enforcement to arrive, Heidi Bradshaw says.

"Once the agents/officers of the responding agencies arrived, some person from a responding agency reported that Bradshaw was '10-7' (police terminology that means 'out of commission' - in this case dead) and that medical treatment was pointless." (Parentheses in complaint.)

Heidi Bradshaw claims that's not true - that her husband still had a "strong pulse," but, assuming he was dead, emergency medical workers delayed assisting him for at least seven minutes.

Paramedics then took Bradshaw to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he died from his wounds five days later, on March 2, 2013.

Later that month a Warren County grand jury declined to press charges against Brown.

The police report obtained by WBKO gives a completely different version of the shooting, and includes an interview of Brown in which he says he shot Bradshaw in self-defense after Bradshaw pointed a gun at him.

Heidi Bradshaw seeks punitive damages for civil rights violations, gross negligence, battery and loss of consortium.

She is represented by Gary Logsdon of Brownsville, Ky.

Defendants include Warren County Sheriff Jerry "Peanuts" Gaines and Medical Center EMS LLC.

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