Another dark day was marked in Alberta’s history on Monday after another police officer lost his life in the line-of-duty, this time in Edmonton.
Many may have woken up on Tuesday morning learning of the tragedy that unfolded while they slept on Monday evening.
While attempting to execute a warrant, two Edmonton Police Service (EPS) members were wounded, one fatally. Const. Daniel Woodall and Sgt. Jason Harley were shot at while they were attempting to serve a warrant for a harassment complaint at a home on the west side of Edmonton.
Although not all the details are known at this time, EPS Chief Rod Knecht said during a press conference on Tuesday morning that the suspect knew the police were at his door and he shot at the officers, hitting Sgt. Harley in the lower back. He was taken to hospital and was released shortly after, keeping his life with the assistance of his bulletproof vest and the help of some citizens.
Const. Woodall suffered multiple gunshot wounds and died of his injuries at the scene. EPS investigators later found a body in the burnt up home.
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) is now involved in an investigation surrounding the death of the individual found in the residence. ASIRT considers the death of the individual, considered to be the suspect, to be an “in-custody death,” as the body was found in the residence that was being contained by the police.
“Last evening, I was heartbroken to learn that an Edmonton police officer, Constable Daniel Woodall, lost his life in the line of duty,” said Premier Rachel Notley. “This tragic event is a somber reminder of the dangers our men and women in uniform face every day in their service to Albertans. I join Alberta families in thanking them for all they do to protect our communities.”
Some rays of hope began to shine early Tuesday morning. CTV News reported one Edmonton resident stopped by the crime scene and thanked the first responders for what they selflessly do everyday.
Another report detailed another resident brought all the law enforcement members present at crime scene McDonalds breakfast, just to show a little appreciation during a challenging day.
Why this tragedy occurred has yet to be revealed as ASIRT is just beginning their investigation and it could be many weeks before more details are revealed.
This tragedy has left many questioning the safety of our law enforcement officers, who face many unknown dangers associated with even the most routine police work.
Tragedies like this are a reminder of the realities first responders face — that those on the frontlines often put their lives on the line and make the ultimate sacrifice.