Constable Daniel Woodall, 35, has become the first Edmonton police officer to die in the line of duty in twenty five years after being shot repeatedly while executing a warrant for criminal harassment in Edmonton’s Ormsby neighbourhood. Another officer, Sergeant Jason Harley, 38, was also shot in the lower back but likely survived because of his bulletproof vest.
Residents in the area spoke of hearing between ten and thirteen gunshots followed by the house in question erupting into flames and burning to the ground. Unfortunately, the identitiy of the possible suspect cannot be revealed due to the Freemen on the Land or “sovereign citizen” movement which is a group considered to be very anarchistic. In fact, the group that the suspect is supposedly a part of has been labeled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as being a domestic terrorist movement.
Officer Woodall is originally a citizen of Great Britain who came to Edmonton to serve on the police in their hate crime unit. He has left behind a wife and two sons who are thankful for the outpouring of love from fellow Edmonton residents and from members of the police force who have all been hit hard with this act of violence. As Police Chief Rod Knecht says to other officers in the streets working on this case and others, it is recommended that they “be safe.”
Although the risk of being shot is something that is a reality for those joining the police force, it is still a shock when it does happen and can greatly rattle a community like Edmonton who are known for being relatively safe. Lots of love is being sent to the families of Woodall and Harley in this very sad time.