BRADFORD - The husband of murdered police officer Sharon Beshenivsky has branded her killers "cowards" who had taken the life of a woman "loved by everyone who met her".
After leaving flowers outside the travel agency in Bradford, West Yorkshire, where his 38-year-old wife was shot on Saturday, Paul Beshenivsky said his world was "a darker place without her". He said: "She was my rock. It breaks my heart to think I will never hear her infectious laugh again, to think she won't be here to see our children grow.
"When Sharon left for work on Friday, it was such a happy day. Our youngest daughter, Lydia, was celebrating her fourth birthday and she waited excitedly for her mum to come home. When Sharon was late, I knew something was wrong.
"Her enthusiasm for the role spread through us all and we supported her throughout. She lost her life trying to protect people - and that was Sharon all over. She always put others first and would do anything to help someone out."
Detectives were questioning four men and a woman from London's Somali community in connection with the murder. The suspects were tracked to the Thamesmead district of south-east London on Sunday by West Yorkshire Police's homicide and major inquiry team using Bradford's "Big Fish", an automatic number plate recognition system.
This records the details of every vehicle entering and leaving Bradford and enables detectives to check them against a police database.
Police believe the killers may have left Bradford in a large silver car after the raid at which she and her colleague, Constable Teresa Milburn, 37, were shot. Milburn was in tears as she was pushed out of hospital in a wheelchair.
Beshenivsky had three children and two stepchildren. The former childminder had been a community support officer before joining the full-time police force nine months ago.