A 25-year-old Coquitlam man has been charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder with a firearm in connection to the death of a Ridge Meadows RCMP officer.
On Friday, Const. Rick O’Brien was fatally shot while police were conducting a search warrant at a home in Coquitlam in relation to a drug investigation.
Two other officers were injured and the suspect was shot in the incident, police said.
Late Saturday afternoon, homicide investigators announced Nicholas Bellemare has been charged and remains in custody.
“This is a profound loss and I understand it will have a lasting effect on Cst. O’Brien’s family, friends, colleagues and the community,” Superintendent Mandeep Mooker said, Office-in-Charge of IHIT.
“We wish to send our sincere condolences to everyone impacted by this tragic event.”
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team is working in partnership with Ridge Meadows and Coquitlam Detachments, the BC Coroners Service, and the Integrated Forensic Identification Section in its investigation.
A vigil has been set up by Ridge Meadows RCMP, and community members, outside of the detachment for O’Brien.
Community members were seen attending the vigil, laying flowers and sharing embraces.
“It is the ultimate sacrifice for our community … (It is) not something you want to see,” Paige Paddington, a Maple Ridge resident. “It was a senseless act. My heart breaks for his family, friends, fellow officers and the community.”
Both injured Mounties have been released from hospital, police said.