EDMONTON — When the oldest son of slain Const. Daniel Woodall looked out the car window during a drive this week through Edmonton, his mother pointed out blue ribbons tied to trees and posts.
“That’s because your dad was special,” she told him.
Police spokesman Sgt. Steve Sharpe shared the moment with reporters Friday, while announcing that a regimental funeral is to be held next Wednesday for Woodall.
The 35-year-old officer, recruited to Edmonton nine years ago from England, was killed on Monday while he was trying to serve an arrest warrant.
Police had been investigating Norman Raddatz, a 42-year-old refrigerator repairman, for anti-Semitic bullying of an Edmonton man and his family. When Woodall and other officers showed up at Raddatz’s home, bullets started flying through the front door.
A second officer was shot in the back but survived because of his bullet-proof vest.
Shortly after the shooting, Raddatz’s home started on fire. His burned body was eventually found in the basement. An autopsy determined that he had shot himself.
A Facebook page linked to Raddatz has revealed his extremist views. It contained rants against police and courts as well as slurs against minorities. Neighbours have described him as an unfriendly, divorced father who drank and was out of work. A bank had also foreclosed on his house.
Woodall worked in the police hate-crimes unit and will be remembered as a dedicated officer, said Sharpe.
“He didn’t do politics. He did police work and he was always nose-to-the-grindstone. He was always doing the work and I think that is the legacy of Dan Woodall of the Edmonton Police Service.”
Woodall’s parents have arrived from Manchester to be with his widow, Claire, and their two young sons, Gabe and Callen, and other relatives are expected to travel from overseas for the funeral, Sharpe said.
A public visitation is to be held at a funeral chapel Sunday afternoon. The funeral procession is to start Wednesday morning at the Alberta legislature and end at the Shaw Conference Centre with a public service.