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Critically Injured Fla. Cop Fights for Her Life

May 11, 2012  | 

Photo: Key Biscayne PD
Photo: Key Biscayne PD

Key Biscayne Police Officer Nelia Real came to policing later in life. The department swore her in just two years before her 40th birthday.

The former newspaper reporter and one-time dispatcher may have overcome hurdles to live her dream as a patrol officer, yet she now faces her toughest challenge.

Officer Real, 54, is fighting for her life, after she was shot in the neck by a carjacker and robbery suspect late Thursday. Doctors at Memorial Regional Hospital stabilized Officer Real, who was shot point blank by David Edwin Bradley after she stopped at an accident scene on the Florida Turnpike.

Bradley was wandering in lanes in the middle of the Turnpike after crashing a stolen Infiniti G35. When Bradley eventually turned the gun on himself, after wounding a second officer, Bradley's crime spree came to an end.

"She was pulling up to what she perceived as a simple accident scene," Chief Charles Press told POLICE Magazine. "The second she lights up her blue lights, the guy just turned on her from point-blank range and opened up on her."

When she saw the gun, Officer Real quickly threw her vehicle in reverse, a decision Chief Press said saved her life. The second life-saving action came from Broward Sheriff's Deputy Osvaldo Petitfrere, who loaded her into his cruiser and headed to the hospital rather than waiting for an ambulance.

Officer Real remained conscious, applying pressure to her own neck wound to limit blood loss. Surgeons are cautiously optimistic about the officer, who suffered a shattered jaw and still has bullet framents in her face.

"We're all pulling for her," Chief Press said. "She's got a tough road ahead of her. It's not going to be easy, and she faces a battle."

On Thursday morning, Officer Real told Chief Press she would retire from police work in 19 months to become a park ranger. During her 16 years on the force, she established the traffic unit for the 30-officer agency.

By Paul Clinton


Fla. Officers Injured In Turnpike Shootout

Comments (27)

Displaying 1 - 27 of 27

Brenda L Canino @ 5/11/2012 5:08 PM

Lord have mercy on Nealia Real, LORD YOU WHO HAVE THE PWOER TO HEAL, help he atta this one, know shes on of the ones You chose for this job, Show her the power you have within her, and guide her out of this very delicate situation. Lord I ask this trusting in you as My only Savior, You who protected me all those years, Lord place you hand and intervene in JESUS NAME AMEN/
Praying for your department, family and friends.

mike @ 5/11/2012 6:00 PM

God touch my Law Enforcement owner's life in the most positive way that only YOU know how. I know the rest of the nations LEO's have the Watch. Rest easy and god bless your recovery!

Robocop @ 5/11/2012 6:26 PM

Brave LEO. Very proud of her and my prayers are with Officer Real. Whenever I hear of the bravery some of our brethren display it lifts my spirit. The fact that this garbage also took himself out also makes me feel good.

Jasmine Andrews @ 5/11/2012 7:01 PM

Officer Real is in my prayers

Rob Watson @ 5/11/2012 8:12 PM

you are in our prayers for a safe and speedy recovery my sister in blue

Morgan @ 5/11/2012 8:59 PM

You are extremely brave for staying calm and a living miracle, God was with you that day and saved you. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family officer Real.

Mike @ 5/11/2012 9:21 PM

May God watch over you Ms. Real. Stay tough and fight!

Bob @ 5/11/2012 9:53 PM

Fight, Fight ,Fight.

Tony @ 5/11/2012 11:20 PM

Prayers are with you for a full recovery, Officer Real.........

Random @ 5/12/2012 2:34 AM

I hope you recover quickly and this gives you some extra time with your family.

DIXIE @ 5/12/2012 6:43 AM

My prayers are with you officer Real I have been in Law Enforcement 32 years and I want you to fight, and recover fully.

God Bless You!!!! Dixie Mo

Dawn @ 5/12/2012 6:53 AM

My prayers go out to you and your family.

Laura @ 5/12/2012 7:22 AM

Sister Nelia Real, I pray that you recover from this injury.

bobp @ 5/12/2012 9:17 AM

God bless. Prayers for a speedy recovery..

Capt David LACO Ret @ 5/12/2012 10:25 AM

We will see you back on duty-- that's an order.. Get well

Chief Rossman @ 5/12/2012 5:39 PM

You are a very brave officer. Stay strong

Debbie Catts @ 5/12/2012 6:17 PM

I am praying for this brave Police Officer. Please keep me informed

braveone @ 5/12/2012 6:27 PM

I am praying for this brave Police Officer.

cdrcrash @ 5/12/2012 6:34 PM

REAL Keep fighting!!!! Don't Let the Bastard WIN!!!!!

PeaceWarrior @ 5/12/2012 7:14 PM

Amen. I also pray for Officer Real's healing and comfort. I pray she will have a rapid recovery.

Dennis Salb @ 5/12/2012 8:22 PM

Our prayers go out the the injury officers. We hope for a speedy and full recovery.

ShirlGirl @ 5/13/2012 12:35 AM

Sister Real; you have all my heartfelt prayers for a speedy recovery. Rest in the Shepherd, we got your back.

Roy Gibbens @ 5/13/2012 4:44 AM

Officer Real my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family for you to have a speedy recovery. God Bless you and all fellow officers

jenny @ 5/13/2012 5:51 AM

Prayers are with her and her family

Det. LCA @ 5/13/2012 4:19 PM


Johnny Cody @ 5/15/2012 7:53 AM

God, please be with this hero.

Tom Davis @ 5/15/2012 9:41 AM

To my sister in Blue. I will be praying for you and a full recovery. God be with you, your family and your department.

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