Larry Bradley, a 45-year-old veteran who was hunting last month, was shot in the back and died as a result of his injuries. Whoever shot Bradley has not been identified, but more than a month after the incident, the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office released part of an anonymous apology letter that captures the remorse of a person claiming to have shot the Ohio father of two on Dec. 2.
“I am so sorry for the hurt and pain that I caused on that day,” the letter on lined notebook paper read. “[Can] u please tell the family I am so sorry.”
Gallia County Sheriff Joe Browning wrestled with whether to release the letter. The Columbus Dispatch reported that Browning doesn’t know if the letter is really from the person who shot Bradley.
“The struggle there is, do you release it, do you not release it?” Browning said Tuesday. “Obviously, one option is to sit on it until you hear something else.”
After the incident, but while still alive, Bradley called his wife.
“He said, ‘You just have to help me.,'” Denise Bradley recalled her husband saying in a gasping voice before 8:30 a.m. that day.
In an emotional interview with WSAZ-TV Denise Bradley said her husband wouldn’t tell her what was wrong:
Bradley was later found dead in a tree stand, shot through the torso.
The sheriff’s office received the anonymous letter around Christmas, according to the Dispatch. Browning told the newspaper he thinks “it’s probably something that is really bothering the shooter, and it’s not something that they are dealing with easily.”
Denise Bradley is hoping the shooter takes the next step and comes forward completely.
“I know accidents can happen, but when they’re this big, you take responsibility for it,” she told the Dispatch. “A letter doesn’t cut it.”
“God forgives, but not if your hiding it,” Denise also said, according to The Gallia Herald. “I want justice for for him. A letter just isn’t enough.”
According to the newspaper, Larry Bradley was a veteran of the War in Iraq and the Gulf War, a member of the U.S. Marine Corps and part of the Navy Reserves.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is analyzing the letter.
WSAZ reported that Sheriff Browning is not yet willing to say if the death was an accident or not.