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Slain detective, who leaves behind wife, kids, had 'uncanny ability' to be best at anything he did

'To know him is to love him'
Posted at 7:10 PM, Jun 24, 2024

ROCHESTER, Mich. (WXYZ) — At work, Oakland County Sheriff's Office Detective Bradley Reckling was a skilled investigator who quickly became an expert at anything he tried.

"Brad had a natural ability for law enforcement," said one of his good friends, Derek Myers, who is a sergeant with the same department. "To know him is to love him."

Bradley J. Reckling Oakland County Sheriff's Office
An undated courtesy photo of Bradley Reckling.

Reckling, who was assigned to the Oakland County sheriff's auto theft unit, was working undercover Saturday night when he was shot and killed in the area of Park Grove and Schoenherr on Detroit's east side.

Reckling was behind a vehicle that had been stolen from Madison Heights earlier in the day.

The driver of the stolen vehicle came to a stop and several people got out and opened fire on Reckling's unmarked vehicle.

Detroit police arrested three suspects after setting up a perimeter in the area. And on Monday, Detroit police asked that anyone with information in the case please call their Homicide Task Force at 313-596-2260.

VIDEO: Oakland County sheriff holds press conference to provide details about the deadly shooting

Authorities provide information after Oakland County deputy killed in line of duty

Reckling leaves behind a wife, three daughters and another baby on the way.

"This is heartbreaking. It's heartbreaking to see that their father's gone," Myers said. "It's painful for all of us."

Myers said his friend fulfilled his dream of having a big family and a big farm, adding that Reckling was excited about raising his animals.

Bradley Reckling and family Oakland County Sheriff's Office

Reckling's loved ones have set up a GoFundMe page where his wife's uncle, Mark Szydlowski, wrote, "Brad was passionate about his family and was an avid outdoorsman. He never hesitated to lend a helping hand to family and friends. The family cherished their small farm in northern Macomb County. Jackie and Brad have just started refinishing their house in expectation of their 4th child."

Reckling's other passion was his work in law enforcement.

Bradley Reckling Oakland County Sheriff's Office

"He hated people who committed crimes. He liked to be the voice for people who didn't have a voice," Myers said. "He liked to help people who just had no other avenues to help themselves."

Myers added that Reckling also had an "uncanny ability" to be the best at anything he ever did.

"We taught him how to do police motorcycle skills and in a two-week time frame, he mastered it. He was as good as any of us riding a motorcycle," Myers said. "You could teach him a job and within a few weeks or a month, he'd turn around and be teaching you how to do the job."

Bradley Reckling Oakland County Sheriff's Office

But above all, Reckling cherished his family the most.

"His family meant the world to him. His wife and his children — his three little girls — they were his whole life," Myers said. "Every time you have a conversation with that man, it would circle back right to his family."

Now that the tragedy has forced Reckling's pregnant wife and three girls to go on without him, family, friends and colleagues are helping to raise funds to help support them.

"Brad was a great man," Myers said. "And with another child on the way, she's going to need some financial support."

VIDEO: More on the tragic shooting of Reckling

What we know about the Oakland County sheriff's deputy killed in the line of duty

You can donate through the family's GoFundMe page.

You can also donate through the Deputy Sheriff's Association's Family Benevolent Fund and Mission Oakland. One hundred percent of the money raised in both will go to his wife and children.

Bradley Reckling Oakland County Sheriff's Office

What's also important at this time is that anyone who can help solve Reckling's murder, contact the Detroit Homicide Task Force at 313-596-2260 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP where you will remain anonymous.

You can also submit a tip on DetroitRewards.tv. If your tip moves the case forward, the tipster will receive a $5,000 reward. You must include case number 2406220359.