Procession from Toronto to Manitoulin Island held for slain OPP officer

Click to play video 'Condolences pour in for OPP officer shot and killed on Manitoulin Island' Condolences pour in for OPP officer shot and killed on Manitoulin Island
WATCH ABOVE (Nov. 20, 2020: OPP Const. Marc Hovingh was killed in the line of duty, responding to a property dispute near the town of Gore Bay on Manitoulin Island. As Catherine Mcdonald reports, he was described as a big man with a soft heart who would help anyone – Nov 20, 2020

An escort home was held Monday for an Ontario Provincial Police officer killed in the line of duty last week.

Const. Marc Hovingh died Thursday after an incident on Manitoulin Island that also resulted in the death of a civilian.

His body had been brought to Toronto for an autopsy and was taken back to Manitoulin Island in a hearse accompanied by two police cruisers, the provincial police union said.

Read more: SIU investigating after OPP officer, civilian shot and killed in incident on Manitoulin Island

Sgt. Kerry Schmidt, a spokesman for the OPP, said the procession drove more than five hours from Toronto to Little Current on Manitoulin Island.

The force had encouraged supporters to follow the procession’s live feed on Twitter.

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“Because we’re in this pandemic, we’re on lockdown, we’re in a different situation here right now,” Schmidt said.

“There’s not a lot of opportunity for paying of respects and for gatherings.”

Hovingh was one of the officers who responded to a call Thursday regarding an “unwanted man” on a property in Gore Bay, Ont., on Manitoulin Island.

According to the Special Investigations Unit – Ontario’s police watchdog – Hovingh and civilian Gary Brohman died in hospital after an exchange of gunfire.

Read more: Civilian identified in fatal Manitoulin Island shooting that also killed OPP officer

Thursday’s procession had headed north on Highway 400 to Highway 69, and then followed highways 17 and 6 into Little Current.

On the way to Hovingh’s hometown in Barrie, Ont., people stood on an overpass to express their condolences, Schmidt said.

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“Very powerful moment,” he said during the force’s live stream of the procession.

“Obviously it’s been a horrible week and a few days here for the OPP family, for the Hovingh family as well.”

Hovingh was a 28-year veteran of the force.

The Special Investigations Unit is probing the death of Brohman, while OPP said Sudbury police will investigate Hovingh’s death