ASIRT report on 2015 incident that left Const. Dan Woodall dead released
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) investigation on the circumstances around the deaths of a suspect and an Edmonton Police Service (EPS) officer in June 2015 has ended, and the results of that investigation were released.
The ASIRT report found the officers involved in the incident behaved lawfully and reasonably as they attempted to arrest Norman Walter Raddatz on June 8, 2015.
That day, EPS officers had arrived at Raddatz’s west Edmonton home to arrest him on criminal harassment charges – following an investigation that started in April 2015 over anti-Semitic and hate-filled messages he had allegedly posted online. Investigators also found an outstanding warrant for Raddatz for a bylaw offence.
Police arrived at Raddatz’s home to arrest him – but when they knocked on the door, Raddatz refused to open the door to speak with police. Officers told Raddatz they would go and get a warrant to enter and arrest him if they needed to, and Raddatz told them they would have to.
The report said Raddatz appeared to be sober and calm “albeit uncooperative.”
More than an hour later, the officers obtained the warrant needed to enter the home and arrest Raddatz.
As police were getting the warrant, other officers at the home were speaking with Raddatz and he could be seen moving around the home. He reportedly did not make any threatening comments that suggested he would become violent.
Warrant in hand, officers arrived back at the home, and showed Raddatz the document through a window. Raddatz did not open the door or surrender, even after he was told police would force their way into the home.
Four EPS officers attempted to use a battering ram to enter the home, and the door was hit three times – and on the third strike Raddatz fired shots through the door, hitting two officers. Both were wearing body armour at the time.
One officer sustained a single wound to his lower torso and survived, but the other – Const. Daniel Woodall – was shot multiple times and died as a result of his injuries.
Raddatz continued to fire at officers outside the home, many of those shots hit nearby vehicles and homes.
ASIRT said officers at the scene did not fire any shots, and said evidence and testimony from civilian witnesses confirmed this. ASIRT said the officers didn’t have a chance to do so. They never saw Raddatz again after their conversation through the window.
ASIRT said after some time, smoke could be seen from inside the home as a fire had started.
Police couldn’t locate Raddatz inside the home, which meant they couldn’t ensure their own safety to arrest him without risking lives. Officers and firefighters were forced to wait, ASIRT said, given Raddatz’s unpredictable shooting from inside the house.
The home was destroyed by the fire, and police, fire officials and ASIRT investigators managed to enter the home the next day.
Inside the house, evidence of a homemade bomb was found in a front closet, and the remains of a dog were found in the kitchen. The dog had been shot. Raddatz’s body was found in a bedroom of the home.
Evidence of multiple firearms was found throughout the home, including one found near to where Raddatz’s remains were found.
An autopsy confirmed Raddatz had died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and determined he had died before the fire overtook the area he was found in.
ASIRT investigated because at the time Raddatz died, his home was surrounded by officers and he couldn’t leave, so his death is considered an in-custody death.