January 12, 2004
UK Police Officer Killed In Line Of Duty
Officer Down: Ian Broadhurst - [Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK, ]
I'm a patrol officer with the Humberside Police service on the east coast of Britain. I felt that you might be interested in this submission although it doesn't relate to the death of an american officer, it may be of relevance because the man who killed him is an american citizen.
The piece is taken from the UK police website, www.policeoracle.com I have edited it slightly to make purely "UK" references clearer to a US audience.
"Ian Broadhurst was a much-loved family man, willing to risk all for his job. He paid with his life
It was a quiet street in a residential area of east Leeds, but it could have been anywhere in Britain. Among the half-dozen shops were a post office, bakery and bookies. Parents walked with their children. Dogs were led by their owners.
Sandy Russell and her dog Lexie, passed a bus stop 200 yards from the Lodge medical centre at the end of the Dib Lane row of shops at 4pm. A police car sat outside. Russell thought little of it.
Then came the bang. 'It was like a firework,' said Russell. 'The dog whimpered. She behaved as she does when she hears a rocket and I didn't think it was anything more than that.'
Later on Boxing Day evening Russell and other horrified residents of Oakwood discovered the grim truth: a killer had callously shot two West Yorkshire traffic policemen as they tried to arrest him. One was still battling serious injuries in a nearby hospital, but PC Ian Broadhurst, a 34-year-old married man, lay dead.
The Leeds suburb had produced another milestone in Britain's ever expanding catalogue of gun crime, and PC Broadhurst took his place among more than 50 officers killed since 1980 while fighting crime on Britain's streets. PC Neil Roper, 45, a father of two from Wakefield, remains in hospital.
Fellow police officers began the grim task of piecing together what happened. The car that the two traffic officers stopped was a 3-series BMW. It was stolen from the Morley area of Leeds in November 2002 following a burglary in which the car keys were taken from the house.
The gunman - a white man in his 30s or 40s - fled up Dib Lane before forcing a couple from their green Rover 600 car.
The incident brought Christmas to a chilling end in the close-knit community. 'It's very quiet - nothing ever really happens,' said another dog walker. 'Something like this is too close to home.'
Police officers described the gunman as 'extremely dangerous', and members of the West Yorkshire Force are determined to catch the man who murdered a popular colleague.
Geoff Stoyles, 39, had known Broadhurst for three years. 'He was a top man,' said Stoyles. 'He used to call in and have a coffee with us. I'm devastated.'
At nearby Killingbeck police station, the flag flew at half mast. Many off-duty officers from across the West Yorkshire force volunteered to come in and help out.
Detective Superintendent Chris Gregg, leading the investigation, said yesterday that the Rover commandeered by the gunman was found just after midnight close to the scene of the crime. 'We are trying to find out exactly what happened in Dib Lane just after 4pm on the 26th of Decmber. We spoke to Neil Roper briefly before surgery yesterday,' he said.
A third patrol officer who had joined the two traffic officers suffered damage to his radar belt. It is unclear whether this was caused by a flying bullet.
PC Broadhurst's wife and family were said to be in a state of disbelief and extreme shock. Chief Constable Colin Cramphorn of West Yorkshire Police said Broadhurst, of Cookridge, Leeds, was married two years ago to Eilisa, from Glasgow, whom he had met on holiday in Tenerife. They had no children. Broadhurst was born in Sheffield in June 1969 to Cindy and Barry Broadhurst and moved to Cookridge with his family when he was eight. 'They are all a very close family,' Cramphorn said.
A team of 30 detectives and a further operational support team of 20 to 30 members were yesterday working on the case. Some had been diverted to Dib Lane from Friday's match between Leeds United and Aston Villa at Elland Road.
Gregg said the couple whose car was taken by the gunman had been very helpful. The woman was sitting in the car while her husband fetched a crate of lager from the shops. When he returned they were both confronted by the man with the gun. 'The gunman followed the man back to the car and said something like, "I don't wish to kill you. I just want the car," ' said Gregg.
The gunman was described as possibly having a stocky build, with dark hair. He was about 5ft 10in, police said.
The car which the two traffic officers stopped was a BMW 3-series - originally bearing a T-registration.
Describing the way police officers had pulled together over the shooting, Cramphorn said: 'We are an extended family and when we suffer shock, people gather round and we see the best of individuals. It's a deep blow for the Force but people are responding in a constructive way. The investigation team is determined to hunt down the man responsible for the murder - a dreadful attack on two possibly unarmed officers.'
From an early age Broadhurst had a passion for cars. In his spare time he raced karts. 'He recently arranged and took part in a charity sponsorship go kart race for the Marie Curie Foundation,' said a colleague.
PC Broadhurst's passion for cars took him into the Road Traffic department of West Yorkshire Police. It had always been his ambition and was a job he loved. Yesterday afternoon more than a dozen bouquets of flowers marked the spot at the end of Dib Lane where he died doing that job. Some carried Christmas baubles but no messages, and others came from people who had clearly lost someone close. One card laid down with flowers by a distressed couple, said simply: 'A true friend sadly missed - Preston and Mags.'
A 35 year old american man, David Francis Bieber, laso known as Nathan Wayne Coleman appeared at the Leed Magistrates Court charged with murdering PC Broadhurst and also with the Attempted murders of two of his colleagues. Bieber is also wanted by Police in Bonita Springs Fla. for murder and attempted murder in 1995.
UK Officers who paid the ultimate price
More than 50 officers have been killed since 1980 as they battled against increasing violence on Britain's streets. The most recent include:
· Special Branch officer Detective Constable Stephen Oake was stabbed to death during a raid in Manchester in January this year.
· In March 2001, PC Alison Armitage, from Manchester, became the fifth woman constable to be killed in the line of duty when a car thief in Oldham drove over her repeatedly as he tried to escape.
· PC Nina Mackay, of east London, was knifed by a paranoid schizophrenic in October 1997.
· Trainee PC Philip Walters, 28, died after being shot in the heart as he made an arrest over a domestic incident in Ilford, north-east London, in April 1995.
· PC Lewis Fulton, 28, died after being knifed as he responded to an emergency call in the Gorbals area of Glasgow in June 1994.
· Sgt Derek Robertson, 39, was stabbed to death at New Addington, south London, as he investigated a robbery at a sub-post office in February of the same year.
· Beat Constable Patrick Dunne, 44, died in a hail of bullets in October 1993 while checking out reports of a shooting incident in Clapham.