“(He) put his life on the line and tragically has lost his life.” The words of Chief Bill Blair
TORONTO – An attempt to stop a stolen snowplow during a wild police chase through snowy city streets ended in tragedy Wednesday when an officer was struck by the vehicle and killed.
Sgt. Ryan Russell, an 11-year veteran of the force, died at St. Michael’s Hospital.”He was a fine police officer and a great servant for the City of Toronto,” said Blair, with tears in his eyes. “He was out doing his job in the early morning hours in the city in a very dangerous situation. He put his life on the line and has tragically lost his life while doing his job.” Blair said it was “worst of days” for the Toronto police.
Russell was married and had a young son. His family has been notified of his death, said the chief.
The sergeant was promoted only six months ago to the title at 52 division after working in the guns-and-gangs task force.
His father, who is currently out of the country, was also a Toronto police officer
People talk about police officers and what we do . . . This is what we do, we go out everyday and we put it on the line. And this is what can happen and we all know it,” said Toronto police union head Mike McCormack. “This is the ultimate sacrifice he has made and we’re all very proud of him and this is our worst nightmare.”
Premier Dalton McGuinty and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford offered their condolences to the Russell family.
A man was arrested about seven kilometres from where Russell was hit.
Blair would only say the man received “certain injuries” during his arrest, but investigators said police opened fire on him and he was hit by at least one bullet.
The man was taken to the same emergency room that attempted to save Russell’s life.