Public Information Officer
The other members of their shift, paramedics, the helicopter crew, trainers -- Volusia County Sheriff’s deputies John Brady and John Braman have many people to thank for helping them survive a gunman’s bullets last November. But perhaps more than anyone, they have each other to thank. For despite their injuries, the deputies worked together that early morning in Deltona like a finely-tuned, two-man tactical team to overtake the triggerman they were arresting because of a violent quarrel with an ex-girlfriend. And now, the duo is forever linked due to their shared brush with death on November 26, 2011.
All healed and back to work, both deputies were the center of attention Tuesday morning during an awards ceremony honoring their courage, bravery and heroism that enabled the two to subdue, disarm and handcuff the shooter without having to return fire. In front of a packed audience of friends, family and co-workers, Sheriff Ben Johnson awarded the Medal of Valor and Purple Heart to both deputies. As an added accolade on Tuesday, deputy Braman -- the more seriously injured of the two -- was named the Sheriff’s Office’s 2011 Deputy of the Year. And the City of Deltona also joined in on the tribute, with Mayor John Masiarczyk, Vice Mayor Paul Treusch and Commissioner Michael Carmolingo presenting the deputies with a distinguished service award from the city. Brady and Braman exchanged a hug as they came up to receive their awards, bringing the audience to their feet to give the two a standing ovation. “It’s so gratifying for us to have the kind of service that we have,” said Mayor Masiarczyk.
For Sheriff Johnson, Tuesday was an opportunity to both praise the deputies’ bravery and give thanks for their survival and recovery. Had the bullets taken a slightly different trajectory, Sheriff Johnson knows he would have been burying one or both of the deputies. “We’re so fortunate that both of these men came through it,” Sheriff Johnson said to an audience of approximately 200 that packed the Deltona City Commission chambers Tuesday morning. “Their training, their professionalism and their pure will to live is what saved them that morning.” The citations that accompanied the Sheriff’s Office awards chalked up their survival to courage, bravery, heroism and calm professionalism.
The incident started with deputies being dispatched to the DeBary home of the shooter’s ex-girlfriend. Responding deputies were told that the defendant had violently thrown the 24-year-old victim to the ground and started to strangle her before fleeing the area. While the responding deputies stayed in DeBary to take the report, Deputy Braman was dispatched to a residence in Deltona -- about eight miles from the scene -- to try to locate the defendant and take him into custody. Deputy Braman arrived at the residence, immediately spotted the suspect’s pickup truck and then waited for his back-up, deputy Brady. The two then approached the house.
When the suspect eventually emerged at the front door, deputy Braman was right there to meet him. But as deputy Braman’s attempts to get the suspect to move away from the front door were unsuccessful, he ordered the suspect to put his hands behind his back. The suspect, though, resisted efforts to handcuff him and the conflict quickly escalated. Deputy Braman engaged the suspect at the front doorstep to prevent him from going back inside and threw him to the ground as deputy Brady administered knee strikes to the suspect to help subdue him. While on the ground fighting with the deputies, the suspect whipped out a pistol. A few seconds later, the shots rang out, striking both deputies. Wounded and in a life-and-death struggle, the deputies were able to subdue and disarm the shooter.
Both deputies, according to their citations, “acted with speed, bravery and calm professionalism under extremely difficult conditions.” The 28-year-old Braman, who was shot in the right shoulder and left arm, returned to his patrol duties in Deltona on Jan. 25. The 44-year-old Brady, meanwhile, who was grazed in the shoulder and was previously scheduled to transfer into court services, returned to active duty in his new assignment on Dec. 12.
In addition to the individual awards, Sheriff Johnson also presented a Unit Commendation on Tuesday to various deputies, paramedics, firefighters and the Air One helicopter crew for exceptional performance of their duties while responding to the shooting. The recipients were as follows: Sergeant Patrick Leahy and Sergeant Dan Genovese; deputies Charles Pardee, Kyle Walter, Darryl Weaver, James Conrad, Michael Gill and Joseph Riley; Telecommunicator Rosilyn Phillips; Deltona Fire Battalion Chief Kevin Homan; Deltona Firefighter Danny Mandarino; Deltona Firefighter Brady Arnold; EVAC Lieutenant John Wells; EVAC Lieutenant Linda Mickenberg; EVAC paramedic Thomas Stanley; EVAC paramedic Peter Walsh; EVAC EMT Michael Gallimore; and EVAC EMT Brian Silverstein. Deputy Wayne Miller and Sheriff’s helicopter pilot Budd Darling and paramedic Greg Brooks also were part of the unit commendation, but were unable to attend Tuesday’s ceremony.
Administrative offices: West Volusia 386-736-5961 Daytona Beach 386-254-4689 New Smyrna Beach 386-423-3352
Non-emergency dispatch numbers: DeLand 386-943-8276 Daytona Beach 386-239-8276 New Smyrna Beach 386-409-8276 Osteen 407-323-0151