The policeman blinded by crazed gunman Raoul Moat in 2010 has been found dead at his home in Northumberland
PC Daivd Rathband has been found dead at his home in Blyth, Northumberland in a suspected suicide.
The policeman survived being shot twice in the face and shoulder by crazed gunman Raoul Moat as he sat in his police car in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in July 2010.
He spent 17 days in hospital following the attack, but despite attempts to restore his eyesight PC Rathband was left blinded by the gunman. Moat also shot his former girlfriend, Samantha Stobbart, and killed her new boyfriend before turning the gun on himself.
Despite becoming an author and setting up his own charity, PC Rathband had struggled to come to terms with his life after the shooting, which caused the breakdown of his marriage.
Last week, Twitter users became concerned after Mr Rathband posted a series of worrying messages. During a visit to see his brother in Australia, he tweeted: ‘Lost my sight, my job, my wife and my marriage. Flying back on Monday and will say goodbye to my children.’
Followers became further concerned when he posted: ‘RIP PC Rathband.’
Police officers in Blyth visited his home after they became worried about his welfare and found him dead at the scene.
‘I had the privilege of meeting PC David Rathband,’ says Home Secretary Theresa May. ‘He was a brave and fine policeman. My thoughts are with his family.’
Sue Sim, Chief Constable of Northumbria Police says PC Rathband’s life changed forever after he was shot. ‘David showed outstanding bravery in what was a terrifying situation. He was a dedicated officer who acted in the best interests of the police service.’