I’ve hesitated over writing this post because – quite frankly – I feel underqualified to do so. Yesterday at 3:40pm the seaside town of Clacton-on-Sea was rocked by the shooting of two people, one of whom was a police officer and who was killed. Clacton has been a regular haunt of mine over the years and just recently both my children have been on school trips to the town. The idea that someone would be shot and killed in the middle of the day somewhere like Clacton is shocking and tragic.
The police officer, PC Ian Dibell apparently was “off-duty”, which I know really means “not on shift”. Police officers do not have the luxury of being off-duty. Early reports and coments from Essex police describe him intervening after the other person (a member of the public) was shot in the leg. PC Dibell – according to his superiors – was well aware of the danger he was putting himself into but chose to do so anyway. Whilst I don’t know the exact circumstances I’d say that if PC Dibell intervened to prevent further injury and possible death to the other victim – he succeeded. Tragically he did this at the loss of his own life.
The reason I feel underqualified to comment here is because I did not know PC Dibell and I have not served as a police officer (I do know some though).
We bandy words like “hero” around a great deal. I have no doubt in my mind that PC Dibell is one. He paid the ultimate price to do the “job” that he wasn’t even on shift to do. Would you do that for your job? Would you step into the path of a man with a gun? It seems now that the gunman has since killed himself. It is tragic beyond words that two lives have been lost over an argument.
Rest in peace Pc Dibell. My prayers are with your family and loved ones.