Newly-released video that may have played a role in convicting an Alberta man for killing an Abbotsford police officer shows the moments leading up to and following the deadly shootout.
Oscar Arfmann was found guilty in October of killing Const. John Davidson on Nov. 6, 2017, in what prosecutors described as an “ambush.”
During his trial in June, dashcam video from Larry Siefert was played to the court as a key piece of Crown’s evidence in the case. That video was released to Global News on Friday after an application to the court.
The video captures Siefert pulling out of a fast food drive-thru when he comes across a man holding a rifle and pointing it at a pickup truck. Siefert and multiple other witnesses identified the man as Arfmann.
Siefert drives away from the scene, but then circles back to the complex, capturing another look at Arfmann as he tried to reload his gun in a different area of the parking lot.
In both sightings, Arfmann is seen standing next to a black Mustang, which he was accused of stealing from an Abbotsford car lot. A sighting of the vehicle prompted the call to police, bringing Davidson and other officers to the scene.
Siefert then began following Arfmann in the Mustang after the shooter left the parking lot. The dashcam picked up the audio of a call Siefert made to 911 while he tailed Arfmann.
The audio, which was played in court but not released publicly, hears Siefert describing what he saw to the 911 dispatcher.
“I’m at the McDonald’s, there’s a guy in the parking lot here with a f—ing rifle shooting at cars… they shot the windows out of a guy’s pickup,” the court heard on the recording.
“I don’t know if its a pellet gun or a rifle… I’m following him.”
Photos of Arfmann with a gun were released shortly after he was arrested following a dramatic confrontation with officers. Siefert’s dashcam footage is the only known video of Arfmann during the incident.
No witnesses, including Siefert, could testify seeing Arfmann fire the gun.
The defence repeatedly questioned whether the man in the video was indeed Arfmann, while asking why he would appear so calm if he was the gunman.
While Arfmann was found guilty in October, the conviction was not entered into the record, after Madame Justice Carol Ross ordered a second psychiatric assessment to determine his mental state at the time of the shooting.
That report found there was a possibility Arfmann was in a mental state in which he didn’t realize what he was doing was wrong, but Arfmann declined to enter a defence of not criminally responsible by way of a mental disorder.
Ross ultimately approved a conviction for first-degree murder, which carries an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for at least 25 years.
A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for Monday, Feb. 3.
The court is expected to hear victim impact statements before the judge determines a sentence.
— With files from Rumina Daya and Simon Little