NEWS
06/09/2015 11:32 EDT | Updated 06/09/2016 01:12 EDT

Suspect in Edmonton police shooting was focus of hate crime investigation

EDMONTON - The suspect in a shooting that killed an Edmonton police officer and wounded another had been the focus of a lengthy hate crimes investigation.Edmonton police Chief Rod Knecht says 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 at a Tuesday news conferenceKnecht identified the suspect as Norman Walter Raddatz, 42, who was known to police, although he did not have an extensive criminal record.Officers had gone to the man's home in west Edmonton on Monday night to arrest him on a warrant for criminal harassment and that's when gunfire broke out. It does not appear that officers returned fire.Const. Daniel Woodall, a 35-year-old, eight-year veteran who worked on the hate crimes unit, was killed, and 38-year-old Sgt. Jason Harley was shot in the lower back.Knecht said Harley's body armour saved him and he was treated and released from hospital."He is doing well considering the magnitude of the event."Woodall was also wearing body armour, "but it was not engaged in this event. Sadly, he died on scene due to a catastrophic wound."Knecht said 53 bullets were found in the house and garage across the street from the shooting."Some of the bullets passed right through the house, which speaks to the power of the weapon being used. We believe a large-bore rifle was being used."The house the officers went to in order to arrest Raddatz burned to the ground Monday night and it's believed he was inside. Police said at the time they were not looking for a suspect.Knecht said an autopsy would be performed Tuesday.Woodall was recruited to the Edmonton force from Great Britain and had served with the Greater Manchester Police.He leaves behind a wife, Claire, and two young children. She thanked people in a tweet Tuesday for the support she has already received."Your generous outpouring of love for myself and my boys fills my heart. He is my hero, our boys' hero & Edmonton's newest hero," she wrote.Prime Minister Stephen Harper also sent condolences to Woodall's family, friends and colleagues."It is a very difficult reminder that police officers across our country put their lives on the line every day to serve and protect our communities and keep us safe," Harper said in a statement.It is the second death of an Edmonton-area police officer this year. RCMP Const. David Wynn, 42, died in January at a casino in St. Albert, north of the city, while trying to track down the driver of a stolen truck. Auxiliary Const. Derek Bond was seriously injured but survived. The shooter, Shawn Maxwell Rehn, was out on bail facing 15 charges, including escaping lawful custody, possession of a prohibited firearm and failure to show up for a previous bail hearing on the charges. Police found him dead in a home he had broken into.The last officer to be killed on the job within Edmonton city limits was Const. Ezio Faraone, who was gunned down in June 1990 while trying to arrest a suspect who was fleeing from an armed robbery.

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