February 15, 2012 (links and videos updated December 23, 2018)
A man is dead because his family believed the best thing to do was call police for help…a decision which they now regret.
This latest murder under color of state law happened Monday night at a condominium complex in Melbourne, Florida. Police say they received a call from Mr. Ryan Rader’s mother in a different town, who told them her son may be drinking and suicidal. Three Melbourne cops – Pete Mercaldo, Brian Cavanaugh and Michael Szczepanski – arrived at the Beach Club Apartments around 10:20 p.m.
According to police, they spotted Mr. Rader in the breezeway outside of his apartment and ordered him to put his hands up. Police say Mr. Rader either 1) had a gun in his hand when they saw him and/or 2) he “produced” a gun after encountering him. The conclusion is the same regardless, as all three cops say they “feared for their lives,” causing them all to open fire on the 37-year-old Rader, killing him instantly. The police left Mr. Rader’s bullet-riddled body on the ground for nearly 12 hours before moving him. All three cops were rewarded with paid vacations, aka “paid administrative leave.”
Watch a report from WFTV Channel 9 in Orlando.
Mr. Randolph Rader, Ryan’s father, said they called police to help their son, not to murder him. “We should have never done that,” he told Florida Today. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) has commenced the routine kangaroo “investigation” into the murder, which will ultimately be ruled justified.
Though Americans supposedly have an absolute right to bear arms in this country, cops have been using citizens’ gun ownership as an excuse for summary executions for decades now. If you have a firearm, cops will kill you, unless you kill them first, and that is sadly what our society has become. However, Americans must protect themselves from armed government thugs who know they can easily get paid vacations simply by killing an American.
We could not immediately confirm whether Mr. Rader had children or not. Our thoughts are with the Rader family.
You are correct,officer michael szczepanski, is a psychopath who almost destroyed my daughters life,with false accusation and false evidence,I contacted Internal affairs and they helped me and suspended him,unfortunately he wasnt fired and he was brought back to the force where he kept destroying people’s lives,I’m so sorry, Melbourne police is responsible for the lives destroyed or taken by this psychopath.
All we ever did was surf and fish, great soul. Love yea man.
Ryan was a loving spirit with personal struggles like so many today.
His family, his friends, and even the families of the officers are changed forever by the actions taken by the officers on that fateful night.
“There by the Grace of God go I” Anyone of us could begin to suffer with depression, anxiety, panic attacks. Anyone of us could have a loved one in trouble and need the help of police.
It is just sad, sad, sad. Still hard to even believe…
I have known Ryan for almost 20 years as my youngest daughter dated him back then and have remained friends since then. How in the hell could these officers of the law shoot 3 bullets in this defenseless young man who was at the time confused. His Mother called upon you to help her son and instead of trying to help him took it upon yourself to shoot him not once but three times for no damn reason. Now they are on “vacation leave” and will continue their lives with their loved ones, or significant other maybe even childen, while the parents of Ryan will never have their son call or come and visit ever again, and for his friends, who truly loved him have lost him forever. Why is it necessary for you to shoot a person intentionally to kill him, why not aim for his leg or his hand if you are that chicken shit? I read that his body was there for 12 hours????? Where is justice in this case???? This is totally murder of an innocent man, and as the Bible says…..”an eye for an eye”….the judicial system sucks and God will be the final judge in all of this…..AMEN… REST IN PEACE MY SWEET RYAN.
this was murder, murder, MURDER!!!!!!!!!!!! i hope all 3 of these evil asses rot in prison forever.
This is very difficult to read, our son was a very loving sweet natured young man, who struggled with panic attacks and anxiety for the past 10-12 years. This night, will forever haunt me,as I tried to reach out to help him in the fastest way I knew. Call 911. This by far was the worst decision I have ever made in my entire life, as the end result was losing my son forever in such an excessively violent, brutal way. My sweet son did not deserve this, he was crying out for help. I WAS ON THE PHONE WITH THE SERGEANT WHEN IT HAPPENED. Then I hear the sergeant say “OH SHIT” and the phone goes click. We tried to call back, nothing! As we drive the 90 min drive to the coast we fear the worst and are left with silence. Finally half way there we get a call from Melbourne Police, asking if we are on our way. I said yes, how and where is my son? The officer said, “he was involved in a shooting.” I said, “is he O.K.?” The officer just said, “no Mrs. Rader the outcome was not good”. Then told us to meet him at the police station on Appolo St. So cold, and uncaring! When we arrived by the grace of God at the police station, it was closed up. We had to call his number back, only to find out he told us the wrong police station. We had to wait for a police escort to the other police station miles away. The escort policeman was also so cold and aloof, knowing what happened, just another day to him. I am still haunted by the coldness of this police department, as I am shaking just writing about it. I don’t know why I am even doing this writing, I have been holding so much inside,but as each day goes by and we as Ryan’s parents are left in the cold darkness of the investigation process I keep going back in my mind what really did happen? And why did this have to end like this? Why couldn’t they tell my son Your Mother is on the phone please get on the ground or put your hands up, we are here to help you. Your parents are on their way here now.Instead we are left with this terrible empty helpless feeling and our only child is gone from us forever, and our hearts ache, and it will never go away. We only hope that this brings awareness to what happens when you call 911 and say someone is suicidal with a possible gun. Apparently this police department is trained to shoot to kill not one bullet but Seventeen-Nineteen! Three police officers, against one intoxicated, confused sweet young man,who had a gun but not sure if it was ever shown to the officers and no bullets were fired from his gun. This was a brutal murder of my son. Something needs to be done to STOP this excessive brutality and cold unsympathetic attitude The Melbourne Police Dept displays towards the citizens they are supposed to be protecting. We thank your paper for putting this devasting event in my husband’s and my life in to the proper perspective. Please visit our son’s website published by friends who loved him to see him as he really was, a gentle loving man. ryanwesleyrader.com
THANK YOU for posting his story.
Ryan was a very good friend of mine since pre school. He did not deserve this. He was the most kind, timid man I have ever had the privilige of knowing. His death was completely unnecessary. He would never hurt a fly. BTW….he did not have children. He was his parents only child, so you can just imagine how they feel right now. It is just awful and should not have happened this way.