Family pays tribute to ‘hero’ who died after rushing into danger to protect child

Richard Woodcock lost his life after trying to protect a child in an incident that saw another man shot to death by police (Image: PA)

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The family of a man who died after rushing into danger to protect a child have paid tribute to him saying they are “immensely proud”.

Richard Woodcock, 38, a highways officer, was found dead at the scene of a disturbance at Two Mile Ash, Milton Keynes, on June 26.

Police were called to the scene after neighbours heard a young woman screaming and shouting for help.

A younger man, 24-year-old Kelvin Odichukumma Igweani, is suspected of killing Mr Woodcock, according to police.

Mr Igweani was shot to death by police at the scene after an officer fired four shots, Milton Keynes Coroner's Court was told this week.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct is investigating the circumstances of the shooting.

They said officers found a two-year-old child with serious injuries who, as of Friday afternoon, remained in a life-threatening condition in hospital.

Kelvin Igweani was shot dead by police
(Image: HNP Newsdesk/Hyde News & Pictures Ltd)

Mr Woodcock's family said they were 'immensely proud' of his sacrifice at the Milton Keynes property
(Image: PA)

Neighbours told reporters that Mr Woodcock was a "hero" and "good Samaritan" who had rushed in to help the child.

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.”

An inquest has heard that police fired four shots at the scene, killing suspect Kelvin Odichukumma Igweani
(Image: PA)

They added: "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."

A two-year-old boy has serious injuries and is in a life-threatening condition
(Image: THA)

Inquests into the deaths of Mr Woodcock and Mr Igweani were opened at two separate hearings on Friday.

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.

Mr Blaik said a woman and a young child had managed to flee the address prior to police arrival.

However, Mr Woodcock, who was from a neighbouring property, had gone to help save a young boy who he believed was still there and at risk of significant harm.

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

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