Windsor Police Const. John Atkinson has died at the age of 37.
Atkinson, a 14-year veteran of the force, leaves behind his wife, a six-year-old daughter and nine-year-old son.
Atkinson was on duty when he spotted some suspicious men at a convenience store and went into action, said Windsor Police Chief Glenn Stannard. He was struck by a bullet but was able to return fire before the suspects ran off.
Stannard said the community and police are outraged by the shooting, which is like nothing they'd seen before.
"Although we have had in our history three officers killed as a result of car accidents, to the best of my knowledge, this is the first officer in the history of more than 120 years of the Windsor Police Service that an officer has been murdered," he said.
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty released a statement in praise of Atkinson and the work of all police officers.
"The loss of one of our officers is a tragedy for all of us. I don't know that there are words strong or eloquent enough to capture the courage it takes to put one's self in harm's way, in order to keep others safe," he said.
"Throughout the province, brave police officers work hard, long hours to keep us safe, to serve our communities and to help build a stronger Ontario."