The roads turned into a river of blue as police officers and emergency responders from all over North America and the UK marched in the funeral procession of an Edmonton police constable and married father of two.
Thousands of mourners took to the streets of Edmonton, Canada yesterday to pay their respects to 35 year old Daniel Woodall, who was gunned down in the line of duty last week.
— Edmonton Journal (@edmontonjournal) June 18, 2015
According to an article in the Daily Mail, the former British police officer was shot dead as he and his partner went to execute an arrest warrant at the home of a hate-crime suspect on June 8. After exchanging fire with the officers police say the suspect shot himself, his body later discovered inside his fire-ravaged home.
An estimated 5,600 people filed into the streets of Edmonton to join the funeral procession, some people carrying small national flags and others seen wearing T-shirts that read: ‘I Heart My Cop.’
— City of Edmonton (@CityofEdmonton) June 17, 2015
Woodall was described as a great friend and colleague, who touched many lives. Dave Ainsworth, a close friend of Woodall’s from his days as a Greater Manchester Police officer in the UK, delivered the eulogy. He remembered his friend as a ‘joker,’ recalling that the baby-faced constable looked like a ’12-year-old in uniform’ the first time they met in 2001. But his youthful appearance aside, Ainsworth said his former partner quickly proved his mettle in the line of duty. “He had compassion when he needed to and strength when required,” he said, according to CBC.ca.
Woodall’s casket, draped with Canada’s Maple Leaf flag, was carried into the crowded venue on the shoulders of six solemn pallbearers, according to the Daily Mail article.
Woodall leaves behind his widow, Claire and their two children, six-year-old Gabe and four-year-old Callen. “There are really no words great enough to express my love and gratitude to the city of Edmonton,” Claire Woodall said in a statement.
It seems the whole city stopped to honor this well-respected fallen hero. Mourners who were not able to make it into the city center for the service, watched on jumbo screens set up outside Edmonton’s City Hall.