PC David Rathband, the police officer blinded by gunman Raoul Moat, was found dead at his home in Blyth Northumberland on Wednesday night in a suspected case of suicide.
Northumbria police visited Rathband’s home at around 7 p.m. and discovered his body after officers received a report of concern for his welfare.
At around 7pm officers received a report of concern for the welfare of Pc David Rathband at his home in Blyth. Officers attended the scene alongside the ambulance service and he was found inside. He was declared dead at the scene. A police investigation is under way and officers are in the process of notifying the family. The coroner has been informed, Daily Mail reported quoting Northumbria police spokesman.
Rathband, father of two, lost his sight in July 2010 after he was shot at close range in the manhunt for fugitive Moat. He was later fitted with prosthetic eyes.
Chief Constable Sue Sim said: I am deeply saddened to have to confirm the death tonight of PC David Rathband and my thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time.”
In July 2010 his life changed forever when he was shot and blinded by Raoul Moat. David showed outstanding bravery in what was a terrifying situation.”
He was a dedicated officer who acted in the best traditions of the police service.
The police officer started his own charity, the Blue Lamp Foundation, after the attack in 2010. The charity aims to help emergency service personnel who are injured in the line of duty.
“It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of David Rathband. Since being shot in July 2010, David struggled to come to terms with his horrific injuries and the traumatic effect they had on him and his family and friends,” the charity in a statement on its Web site said.
“David’s legacy will live on in the form of The Blue Lamp Foundation, which bears his name. The Foundation was started by David to help emergency services personnel injured in the line of duty as the result of a criminal act.”
“It was David’s wish that those who found themselves in a similar position to him could receive the support that wasn’t available to him at the time.”