Palm Bay Officer Cleared To Return Following Deadly Shooting
By Space Coast Daily // March 17, 2015
The investigation is still ongoing
BREVARD COUNTY • PALM BAY, FLORIDA – Officer Derek Hollcroft has been cleared to return to full duty after the February 22 police shooting that killed an active shooter, according to the Palm Bay police department.
On February 22 at 5:23 a.m., Palm Bay dispatchers received a 9-1-1 hang-up call from 974 Castille Road. SE.
According to the Palm Bay police department, dispatchers called back three times and reported the calls went directly to voicemail. Officers were dispatched to the location at 5:28 a.m.
The first officer arrived at the scene at 5:37 a.m. and immediately reported multiple shots fired from the backyard of the residence.
According to the Palm Bay police department, the responding officers described the movements of the shooter over the next 20 minutes, saying he was going in and out of the house and on at least four different occasions alerted that the suspect was actively firing shots
At 5:57 a.m. officers reported the suspect was outside the front of the house and a short time later the suspect was shot.
The suspect was identified as 50-year old Bradford Leonard.
During the response, officers believed the suspect might have hostages inside the home, including children. A post-incident search of the suspect’s home revealed multiple firearms and a large amount of ammunition, according to Palm Bay police.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) has released preliminary findings to the police chief and command staff.
The investigation is still ongoing.
Officer Derek Hollcroft, 28, began his career with the Palm Bay Police Department on April 1, 2013.
Prior to joining the department he served in the U.S. Army from 2004-2008 receiving an honorable discharge.
He served 14 months in Iraq and received numerous commendations including a Purple Heart after being injured in 2007. He recovered and returned to full duty.
Hollcroft has a bachelor’s degree in criminology from the University of Florida and graduated from Eastern Florida State College Basic Recruit Law Enforcement Academy in February 2013.
BELOW MAP: On February 22, Palm Bay dispatchers received a 9-1-1 hang-up from 974 Castille Rd. SE.