WATCH ABOVE: Mayor Iveson fights back tears as he thanks Const. Daniel Woodall for his service and sacrifice
EDMONTON — On Tuesday morning, Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson expressed the grief many people were feeling following the killing of eight-year Edmonton Police Service veteran Const. Daniel Woodall.
Iveson was particularly emotional when discussing the fallen officer’s two young children and wife.
“As your mayor I reflect the sadness I feel in the community,” he said, before pausing. “But I feel this most deeply as a father of young children.”
“I’m incredibly sad for them, and for Mrs. Woodall,” said the mayor, his voice breaking.
“They shouldn’t have to experience what they’re experiencing, but I have to commend her courage.”
WATCH: Death of Const. Daniel Woodall hits home for Mayor Iveson
On Monday night, Const. Woodall was fatally shot in west Edmonton’s Ormsby Place neighbourhood.
Woodall was on the EPS hate crimes unit, which, along with members from other parts of the force, was attempting to arrest a suspect for criminal harassment.
Woodall is the first Edmonton Police Service officer killed in the line of duty in 25 years.
“At times like this, we are reminded of the often unknown dangers associated with even the most routine police work,” said Commanding Officer of the RCMP K Divison, Marianne Ryan.
“This is a reality that all police officers, their families and loved ones, and those who work in support of the frontline learn to live with, but on a day like today, accepting that reality is particularly challenging.
“The Edmonton Police Service has always stood by the RCMP in its darkest hours. It is now our sad honour to stand by the Edmonton Police Service as they deal with the loss of a beloved police officer due to an act of unprovoked and senseless violence.”
Edmonton’s fire chief also expressed condolences for the Woodall family, on behalf of Edmonton Fire Rescue Services. Ken Block also said their thoughts and prayers are with Sgt. Harley as he recovers.
“The dedication to the safety of the citizens of Edmonton demonstrated by these officers will not be forgotten,” said Ken Block.
“Edmonton Fire Rescue Services would like to thank all of our partners who worked together last night to keep the residents of Ormsby Place and the citizens of our city safe during this unimaginable situation. Edmonton is safe because of the efforts of the dedicated professionals who work in first response roles, especially members of the Edmonton Police Service who risk their lives for our security.
“Their courage in the face of risk is tremendous.
“We would also like to thank the public for their messages of support. The response we have received has been overwhelming. There are no words to express the gratitude we have for your heartfelt words as we deal with this tragic situation,” said Block.
“We acknowledge and appreciate the efforts of Edmonton Fire Rescue Services personnel at the scene of last night’s devastating event. During this emotional time, it is important for all Edmontonians to collectively take a deep breath and remember that Edmonton is a safe city and one we can all be proud of.”
A public condolences page for Const. Woodall is available on the EPS website. As well, the email email@example.com has been set up. Citizens are encouraged to send messages to this address or continue using the #EPSstrong hashtag.
WATCH: People across the country are sharing their sadness about the death of Const. Woodall, but they’re also rallying around the family and police service. Emily Mertz explains.
The shooting quickly became the top story on social media, as people sought out information. On Twitter #EPSStrong became to top trending hashtag across Canada, with thousands of tweets expressing grief over Woodall’s death.
There were also many calls to leave porch lights on overnight to show support for police.
Const. Woodall was a husband and had two young children. Rob Grant, a former 102.3 Now! Radio host, was friends with Woodall and worked with the officer’s wife at the Edmonton radio station. He shared his memories of the police officer in a heartfelt Facebook post on Tuesday morning.
Edmonton Police Service Chief Rod Knecht said during a news conference early Tuesday morning that the shooting weighs on officers.
“This strikes at the heart of every police officer, and certainly their families and their loved ones,” said Knecht. “Because as most of them would say, ‘only through the grace of God go I,’ and that’s certainly the case this evening.”
Several EPS members shared their grief for their co-worker and friend.
According to Const. Brendan Power, an overwhelming number of off-duty officers showed up at work to help take care of outstanding calls.
There were so many, police had to send out an email telling some to stand down. Police services and officers across Canada also expressed their grief for their fallen colleague.
One person spotted candles lit at the statue of Ezio Faraon, who on June 25, 1990 was the last EPS officer to be killed on the job.
The ATB building in downtown Edmonton was also lit with blue lights as a sign of support.
The Members of Parliament observed a moment of silence in the House Tuesday to honour the life and death of fallen Edmonton officer Const. Daniel Woodall.