Police officers around the world serve their countries, keep innocent lives safe and try to put a stop to crime. In doing so, they often put their own lives on the line, sometimes with devastating consequences. Committed to protecting people, these brave police officers all met tragic ends…


Canada: Daniel Woodall

Slain: Officer Daniel Woodall (Photo: PA Photos)

Slain: Officer Daniel Woodall (Photo: PA Photos)

Everything seemed to be going wrong for Norman Raddatz, 42.

His business was failing, debts were piling up, his marriage had ended and his sons had gone to live with his ex.

And he’d had run-ins with his neighbours – many thought him an unlikeable character.

A Facebook page linked to him openly mocked Jewish and gay people. Then a family complained to police that he was harassing them online…

Officer Daniel Woodall, 36, on the other hand, seemed to have it all. He’d emigrated to Canada from the UK after serving with Greater Manchester Police.

He loved his job, had a passion for protecting people. His wife Claire and two sons were his world.

Then, in June 2015, Daniel was among officers sent to Raddatz’s home to arrest him in connection with a hate crime.

But, when they arrived, Raddatz fired off more than 50 shots at them, wounding one officer and killing Daniel.

It seemed Daniel Woodall had been callously murdered by a man with no obvious motive.

Was Raddatz that desperate to avoid arrest? Or perhaps he’d planned his attack all along?

After shooting the two police officers, Raddatz set fire to his home, burning it to the ground.

His body would later be found in the basement of the house, among the ashes.

It seems Norman Raddatz took his reasons for shooting the two policemen – and killing Daniel – to his grave…


UK: Sharon Beshenivsky

Died in the line of duty: WPC Sharon Beshenivsky (Photo: PA Photos)

Died in the line of duty: WPC Sharon Beshenivsky (Photo: PA Photos)

Sharon Beshenivsky, 38, was looking forward to celebrating her daughter Lydia’s fourth birthday.

She’d been a police officer for nine months and, in November 2005, couldn’t wait to get home to her family.

She’d already wrapped her daughter’s birthday presents, baked a cake…

But, while on duty that afternoon, Sharon and a female colleague got an emergency call.

An alarm had been activated in a Bradford travel agency.

The unarmed officers raced to the scene to find the robbers, armed with a pistol, submachine gun and knives.

The men had stolen over £5,000 and, after what was described as a ‘Wild West’-style shoot-out, Sharon was left fatally wounded, and her colleague seriously injured.

The robbers fled in a getaway car.

While Sharon’s family grieved, police began to hunt down her killers.

In December 2006, Yusuf Jama, 20, and Muzzaker Shah, 25, were convicted of Sharon Beshenivsky’s murder.

They were sentenced to life, to serve a minimum of 35 years.

Later, two other men were convicted of manslaughter, and another of robbery.

Yusuf Jama’s brother, Mustaf, had fled to his native Somalia but was extradited to the UK, where he was convicted of murder and sentenced to life.


USA: Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos

Officer Wenjian Liu (Photo: Rex)

Officer Wenjian Liu (Photo: Rex)

Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28, had lived a life of crime, in and out of prison for various offences. He was open about his dislike of police.

In December 2014, he posted an ominous message on Instagram.

I’m putting wings on pigs today. They take 1 of ours…let’s take 2 of theirs #shootthepolice, it read.

It’s thought the message referred to an incident in which an officer put a man in a fatal chokehold after arresting him.

An hour before he posted the message, Brinsley argued with his girlfriend, and shot and wounded her before fleeing.

With the police in pursuit, Brinsley fled, seemingly intent on killing.

Before they could stop him, Brinsley shot and killed officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos as they sat in their patrol car.

Officer Rafael Ramos and his wife (Photo: Rex)

Officer Rafael Ramos and his wife (Photo: Rex)

Brinsley fled to a nearby train station, chased by the police.

Then, unable to escape – and on the platform in front of horrified commuters – Brinsley shot himself dead.