EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — The suspect in a shooting that killed an Edmonton police officer and wounded another had been the focus of a lengthy hate crimes investigation, the city’s police chief said Tuesday.
Rod Knecht confirmed the death of 35-year-old Const. Daniel Woodall, an eight-year veteran of the force who worked for the hate crimes unit. He had been recruited from Great Britain and used to serve with the Greater Manchester Police.
Knecht called Monday’s shooting “a tragedy of unspeakable proportions,” saying Woodall leaves behind a wife and two young children. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper sent condolences.
A 38-year-old officer was also shot in the lower back but was saved by his bulletproof vest, Knecht said. He’s been released from hospital.
A fire erupted at the home soon after the shooting.
Police identified the suspect as 42-year-old Norman Raddatz and said he was known to police but didn’t have an extensive criminal history. It is believed he died in the house as it burned. An autopsy is scheduled.
Knecht said police had evidence going back to February of last year.
“The online hatred and bullying of an Edmonton family had become extreme, and the family members were increasingly worried about their personal safety, at which time the Edmonton Police Service became involved,” Knecht said.
Police didn’t comment on the religion or ethnicity of the family.
Knecht said the two officers had been delivering an arrest warrant for criminal harassment at the suspect’s home when they came under gunfire. He said they were pinned down by fire for at least 10 minutes.
“They were breaching the front door and shots commenced,” Knecht said.
He said a high-powered rifle was used by the suspect, and over 50 bullet holes were found in a home across the street.
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