Local FWC officer wins national award

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WJHG/WECP) - The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund has named David Brady as the May 2017 recipient of the Officer of the Month Award.

Brady is an officer with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and is based out of Panama City.

He was injured in a shootout with Sam Reager in August of 2015.

Brady was sent to investigate a disturbance on the boat Reager and Lachlan Akins were on in St. Andrew Bay at 4 pm on August 7, 2015.

Investigators say when Brady boarded the both the men were on, he asked for identification. That's when, according to arrest affidavits, Reager.,of Petoskey, Michigan, went below deck to get his ID. When he returned, investigators say he opened fire, hitting Brady twice.

Brady jumped in the water and returned fire hitting Reager in the hand. Investigators say Reager and Akins hopped on to Brady's FWC patrol boat and tried to run Brady over multiple times before speeding away. Investigators say Reager and Akins ditched the patrol boat off the coast of the Cove area in Panama City, before taking off.

Brady was able to send an emergency call which a nearby Coast Guard boat heard. The Coast Guard was able to rescue Brady and take him to a waiting ambulance at the Panama City marina. Brady was treated and released that weekend from a local hospital.

The ensuing manhunt by virtually every police agency in Bay County and some from surrounding counties, locked down the Cove area. Reager and Akins were found less than two hours later.

“Officer Brady’s courage and tenacity can’t be denied,” FWC Executive Director Nick Wiley said. “We are so thankful that he survived this vicious attack. He is a shining example of the character and conviction that is shared by all of our FWC family.”

“The Memorial Fund often hears stories of the heroism officers show on a daily basis, and sometimes we hear stories of extreme valor that should never go unnoticed,” Memorial Fund President and CEO Craig W. Floyd said. “The remarkable situation of this shootout, from the officer’s willingness to jump into the water with all of his gear to his ability to reload his weapon in the water and injure one of the suspects, earns Officer Brady the Memorial Fund’s Officer of the Month Award for May 2017.”

Akins cut a plea deal with the state in October of 2015 and has agreed to testify against Reager.

Reager remains locked up in the Bay County Jail. He was 18 when the crime was committed and is now 20. His trial is set to start with jury selection on October 30, 2017. He's charged with attempted first degree murder of a law enforcement officer, robbery with a firearm and burglary of a structure. If convicted, he could be sentenced to life in prison.