Under a light sprinkling of rain, RCMP officers, paramedics, firefighters, law enforcement personnel, and members of the public gathered along freeway overpasses from Vancouver to Abbotsford Thursday afternoon, to honour a fallen hero.
A motorcade carrying the body of Abbotsford Police Const. John Davidson made its way west along Highway 1 from Vancouver to the final destination at Henderson’s Funeral Home on Marshall Road.
Davidson is the officer shot and killed by a lone gunman at an Abbotsford shopping centre on Monday.
Port Coquitlam Sheriff Peter Hamilton was among those standing along the 200 Street overpass to pay his respects as the motorcade passed by.
“It’s a brotherhood,” Hamilton said. “You have to show support for your fellow officers when something tragic like this happens. We all feel it, regardless of whether we are police, corrections, border services or sheriffs, it all hits home to us. It’s important to show support.”
Standing nearby was seven-year-old Alivia Wilson and her five-year-old sister Kaitlin.
Kaitlin said she was there because “a fallen officer died and (we need to) show support every day.”
On Nov. 6, police received a call just after 11:30 a.m. to report a possible stolen vehicle in the parking lot of a strip mall in the 3200 block of Mt. Lehman Road, north of Highstreet Shopping Centre.
Police Chief Bob Rich the caller blocked in the vehicle, while waiting for police to arrive.
Rich said the suspect — later identified as Oscar Ferdinand Arfmann — then got out of the car and began shooting at the caller and others with a shotgun.
APD officers arrived and tried to arrest the suspect. Gunshots were exchanged, and an officer was shot, Rich said.
The suspect then fled in the stolen vehicle and was apprehended by APD officers in the area of Mt. Lehman Road and South Fraser Way.
Rich said the suspect – in his 60s and from Alberta – was transported to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Arfmann, 65, has been charged with first-degree murder (an automatic charge when someone kills a police officer), according to court files.
Davidson began his law enforcement career in the United Kingdom, working for the Northumbria Police from 1993 to 2005.
On March 3, 2006, he was hired by the Abbotsford Police Department. He worked in the patrol, youth squad and traffic sections.
Recently, he completed the Tour de Valley Cops for Cancer ride.
He is survived by his wife and three grown children.