Chief Constable Bob Rich of the Abbotsford Police Service in British Columbia, Canada, sadly reports the death of Constable John Davidson.
Constable Davidson, 53, responded to the parking lot of a mall shopping center on a report of a male person in possession of stolen vehicle. One caller used his vehicle to block an escape route for the suspect until an officer arrived on the scene.
When Davidson arrived, the suspect brandished a shotgun and commenced firing at bystanders as well as the constable. As a result, Davidson returned gunfire even as he was hit. Consequently, he was transported to the hospital and died shortly after his arrival.
The suspect was able to escape the shopping center parking lot. However, he was apprehended a short distance away as he again exchanged gunfire with officers.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) of the Abbotsford Police Service is investigating the shooting.
Chief Rich said Davidson died doing his duty, reported CBC.
“We train our police officers that when somebody is putting people’s lives in danger and there’s an active shooter we no longer wait for cover, the first person in goes. John Davidson was the first person in and away he went,” Rich said.
“He died protecting you and me. … We have lost John, and nothing can change that. We honour John by looking after his family. We honour John by looking out for each other. We honour John by protecting this community.”
The suspect has been identified as Oscar Arfmann. The Alberta man in his 60s was injured in the subsequent takedown and escorted to a local hospital.
He is currently in police custody and has been charged with first-degree murder. Under the Canadian Criminal Code, the killing of a peace officer is automatically a first-degree murder charge.
Cpl. Frank Jang with IHIT said that Arfmann has no criminal record. Moreover, he did not have a valid driver’s license either.
Jang said he had previously obtained a firearms license, but it expired in 2015, according to CBC.
Jang declined to comment on the nature of Arfmann’s injuries but said he is conscious and under police guard in the hospital.
Arfmann is scheduled to appear in court Nov. 28.
Members of Arfmann’s family apologized to Davidson’s love ones for the atrocity. They believe Arfmann suffered from mental illness and refused to get help.
Late Monday evening Davidson’s body was transferred from Abbotsford to the Royal Columbia Hospital in New Westminster, B.C., under full police escort.
Officers from the Abbotsford Police Service and local RCMP detachments lined the highway to honor their fallen comrade.
At the Abbotsford police headquarters, citizens gathered to pay their respects to a hero by lighting candles, placing flowers and leaving handwritten cards outside the station’s doors.
Nicole Provost, 23, was a student at W.J. Mouat Secondary School between 2008 and 2012 where Davidson worked as a high school liaison.
She remembered Davidson fondly and referred to him as one of her friends.
“He just laughed at pretty much everything students said and he made students feel good about themselves and that they were enough no matter what,” Provost said. “He was a really nice guy to have in your life as a teenager.”
Dorreen Paul came to the vigil with her four-year-old daughter. Paul, who was born and raised in the Fraser Valley city, said it was important for them to be there.
“It’s the community and he was there to protect us. She wants to be a part of that,” she said. “We’re sorry about the loss. We’ll keep their family in our prayers.”
The Abbotsford Police Service thanked the community for their support with this tweet.
— Abbotsford Police (@AbbyPoliceDept) November 7, 2017
John Davidson was a 24-year veteran of the police service. The Abbotsford Police Department described him as an “amazing colleague and friend” and “a dedicated police officer.” He started his law enforcement career in the UK serving at the Northumbria Police Service. Subsequently, he transferred to Abbotsford Police Service in 2006. He was assigned to patrol, youth services and traffic sections of the police service. His wife and three children survive him.
Constable John Davidson is gone, but will never be forgotten. EOW: Tuesday, November 7, 2017.
(Graphics courtesy Rose Borisow GrafX)
Last two LODDs