WATCH ABOVE: Edmonton is coping with shock and sadness after police Const. Daniel Woodall was fatally shot Monday night. Fletcher Kent reports.
EDMONTON — The suspect in the fatal shooting of an Edmonton police officer was the subject of a lengthy hate crimes investigation revolving around the extensive online bullying of an Edmonton family.
Edmonton Police Chief Rod Knecht revealed during a press conference Tuesday morning that Constable Daniel Woodall, 35, was one of several police officers who had arrived at the Ormsby Place home to execute an arrest warrant for 42-year-old Norman Raddatz at approximately 8 p.m. Monday.
“There was no believed threat when they attended the residence,” Knecht said.
Raddatz, who’s believed to have fired dozens of shots at the approaching police officers, was known to police, though he did not have an extensive police record.
Const. Woodall, of the hate crimes unit was killed, and 38-year-old Sgt. Jason Harley, a southwest division patrol member, was shot in the lower back.
Police Chief Rod Knecht said wearing a bulletproof vest ‘absolutely’ saved Harley’s life. The 15-year officer was treated and has since been released from hospital.
None of the bullets fired at Woodall hit his vest, Knecht said.
On Wednesday, an autopsy confirmed Const. Woodall died from gunshot wounds and that his death is the city’s 10th homicide of the year.
Harley was the first officer to Raddatz’ door and was injured when the shooting began. It’s not clear exactly how many bullets were fired but Knecht said 53 bullet holes were found in the home across the street – three of which entered the home.
“These other police officers came very, very close to death,” he said.
The house was set ablaze and burned to the ground as dozens of police vehicles, ambulances and fire trucks rushed to the scene.
Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson choked back tears during Tuesday’s press conference, calling Woodall “Edmonton’s newest hero.”
“The very bravest and best among us step forward to become first responders, just like Const. Woodall,” he said. “We rely on our police to protect us from the few and the worst among us.”
Knecht said the last time police saw the suspect was inside the burning home. While no one has been arrested, he said he believes the public is in no danger.
Knecht said Const. Woodall migrated to Canada from Great Britain to join EPS. He worked with the police force in Manchester, England before joining the Edmonton Police in 2007.
“It is a tragedy of unspeakable proportions,” Knecht said at a news conference just after midnight Tuesday. “This strikes at the very heart of every police officer and their families and loved ones.”
WATCH: Mayor Iveson fights back tears as he thanks Const. Daniel Woodall for his service and sacrifice
In the wake of the shooting, police blocked off the road and warned residents to stay in their homes.
It’s the second shooting in the area in two weeks and one man told Global Edmonton he’s rattled.
The last EPS officer to be killed on the job was Ezio Faraone. On June 25, 1990, Const. Faraone, who was assigned to a tactical team unit, was shot by a suspect during a robbery investigation.
The hashtag #EPSStrong began trending late Monday night, with a call for people to leave their porch lights on to show support for police and to honour the fallen officer.
WATCH: Again choking back tears, Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson said that the shooting death of Const. Daniel Woodall strikes him at a personal level as the father of young children himself, and that his heart goes out to the wife and children Const. Woodall left behind.
Both Knecht and Iveson spoke about the outpouring of support from people within Edmonton and across the country with the police chief saying it “helps us understand the value of what we do every day in this city.”
“All of this is a testament to… the respect that Edmontonians and Canadians have for our first responders,” Iveson said.