Norman Walter Raddatz, the man suspected of being responsible for the killing of Edmonton Const. Daniel Woodall, had an extensive hate crimes file related to online bullying of a family in the city.
However, Raddatz did not have a significant criminal record beyond the criminal harassment file, police Chief Rod Knecht said at a news conference Tuesday.
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The hate crimes file dated back to February 2014.
Raddatz, 42, allegedly shot and killed Const. Woodall on Monday night.
Woodall, 35, was one of eight officers sent to a west Edmonton home to serve Raddatz with an arrest warrant on a charge of criminal harassment.
The officers had no reason to believe there was any threat when they went to the house, Knecht said.
He said police had the authority to break down the door if no one answered. The first shots from a high-powered rifle were fired through the closed door.
Sgt. Jason Harley, 38, was shot in the back, though the round was stopped by his vest. He was treated and released from hospital.
'Body armour saved his life'
"It is clear that the body armour saved his life," Knecht said.
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Woodall was hit several times. None of the bullets hit his body armour.
"Sadly, he died on scene due to a catastrophic wound," Knecht said.
The remaining officers took cover and were pinned down by gunfire for at least 10 minutes.
"Because they could not tell where the shots were coming from, the safest course of action was to remain static," Knecht said.
"As we recognize the accomplishments of Const. Woodall, we will remember that Sgt. Harley and the other officers came very, very close to death."
Neighbour Ryan Colton told CBC News he watched the entire shooting from the deck of his home.
He said three undercover officers arrived at Raddatz's home then called for backup. When two uniformed officers showed up, the officers surrounded the home.
Supervisors soon arrived and gave the go-ahead to enter the home with force, Colton said.
Shots fired after battering ram used
Police shouted to Raddatz through the window that they were going to use a battering ram, but he continued to refuse entry, he said.
"After three hits from the battering ram to the door, that's when he started opening fire on the officers."
Colton said after officers dragged Harley out of the line of fire, he and another neighbour carried the wounded officer further away from the house.
The Edmonton Police Service will be setting up public condolence books in detachments across the city. The books will be available starting at noon on Wednesday at the following locations:
- Downtown Division: 9620 – 103A Avenue
- Northeast Division: 14203 – 50 Street
- Southeast Division: #104 Youville Drive East
- Southwest Division: 1351 Windermere Way
- West Division: 16505 – 100 Avenue
They can also be sent through email to email@example.com
Colton said he did not see Woodall get shot, but overheard officers saying the constable was down in front of house.
"They couldn't get to him, because he was just shooting one after another," Colton said.
Police counted 53 bullet holes in the house and garage across the street from the home. They did not return fire, Knecht said.
Knecht would not characterize the shooting as an ambush, but said Raddatz would have been aware police were prepared to breach the residence.
The house was subsequently engulfed in flames.
A body was found in the burned basement of the home, but police are waiting for autopsy results for identification and cause of death.
Police are not looking for any other suspects.
Colton said he barely knew Raddatz, describing him as a "deadbeat" neighbour who rarely mowed his grass or shovelled his sidewalks, and kept vehicles and garbage on his property.
Raddatz lived alone, he said.
"He never really spoke, he never had any conversations. He just waved to you and that was it. He was just kind of a miserable little guy."
"I knew the neighbour was going to eventually snap," he said. "He wasn't mentally stable."
'It just went all bad'
Police are always vulnerable when knocking on doors, Maurice Brodeur, Edmonton Police Association president, told CBC News on Tuesday morning, adding that "99.9 per cent nothing happens, but this one time, it just went all bad."
Brodeur said Woodall's partner, who was also at the scene, is "completely shook up."
"He's just overcome by guilt and anger over the whole situation, guilt that somehow he could have done something to help.
"I know for a fact there's nothing he could have done," said Brodeur. "It was just one of those tragic incidences that no one can really plan for.
"It's not different than the many, many doors you knock on to investigate."
Woodall, 35, had been with EPS for eight years, after being recruited from Great Britain, where he served with the Greater Manchester Police.
Details about a memorial ceremony for Woodall will be worked out once his family members arrive from overseas, Knecht said.
The Edmonton Police Service received condolences from police agencies across the continent, he said.
"These organizations share in our grief due to a common bond. Comments and condolences have come from around the world."
Alberta's Serious Incident Response Team, which handles officer-involved shooting cases, has joined the investigation.