Family pay tribute to man who died 'trying to save child's life'

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Richard Woodcock, 38, was found dead at a property in Milton Keynes (PA)
Richard Woodcock, 38, was found dead at a property in Milton Keynes (PA)

The family of a man who is believed to have been murdered while trying to save a child's life have said they are “immensely proud” of the sacrifice he made.

Richard Woodcock, 38, was found dead when police forced their way into a property at Denmead, in Two Mile Ash, Milton Keynes, on 26 June.

Thames Valley officers had been called to an ongoing disturbance at around 9.40am.

Kelvin Odichukumma Igweani, 24, was pronounced dead at the scene after a police officer fired four shots, Milton Keynes Coroner’s Court was told this week.

A two-year-old child was found with serious injuries and remains in a life-threatening condition in hospital, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) confirmed.

The inquest on Friday heard Mr Igweani was suspected of murdering highways officer Mr Woodcock.

Police at the scene in Denmead, Two Mile Ash, in Milton Keynes, where a man has died after police fired gun shots at a property and where a second man was found dead and a young child seriously injured. Thames Valley Police (TVP) said in a statement officers were called to an address in Denmead, Two Mile Ash, at about 9.40am on Saturday and made a forced entry after acting on information from a witness. Picture date: Sunday June 27, 2021.
Mr Woodcock is believed to have been murdered. (PA)

In a statement, Mr Woodcock’s family said: “We have always been so proud of Richard and everything that he has achieved in life.

“We are devastated that Richard has been taken from us in such circumstances but we are also so immensely proud of the sacrifice that he has made to try and save a little boy’s life.

“His actions on Saturday morning were the type of man he was and that is how we would like him remembered.

“A lot of people loved Richard, probably more than he ever realised, and he will be a huge loss to all of his friends, family and work colleagues.”

Mr Woodcock’s wife added: “Richard it has been a blessing to share my life with you, my dearest friend, my biggest love, my soul mate.

“My kind, generous, funny, clever, cheeky husband.

“Thank you for loving me and being the best father to our children. I’ll love you and cherish our time together forever.”

Police at the scene in Denmead, Two Mile Ash, in Milton Keynes, where a man has died after police fired gun shots at a property and where a second man was found dead and a young child seriously injured. Thames Valley Police (TVP) said in a statement officers were called to an address in Denmead, Two Mile Ash, at about 9.40am on Saturday and made a forced entry after acting on information from a witness. Picture date: Sunday June 27, 2021.
Police at the scene in Denmead, Two Mile Ash. (PA)

Speaking at the opening of the inquest into Mr Woodcock’s death, Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Blaik, from Thames Valley Police major crime unit, said Mr Igweani was suspected of murdering Mr Woodcock.

He said police received a 999 call reporting an ongoing disturbance at Two Mile Ash, adding that neighbours had reported hearing a female screaming and shouting for help.

Mr Blaik said a female and a young child had managed to flee the address prior to police arrival, but that Mr Woodcock, who was from a neighbouring property, had gone to help save a young boy, as it was believed he was still in there and at risk of significant harm.

He said that when officers forced their way in, they immediately saw a deceased male, who was identified as Mr Woodcock.

The IOPC is investigating the circumstances surrounding the shooting.

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