‘I’ll miss him forever’: B.C. teacher remembers fallen RCMP officer 

Click to play video: 'Maple Ridge RCMP ‘overwhelmed’ by public outpouring of support'
Maple Ridge RCMP ‘overwhelmed’ by public outpouring of support
WATCH: Ridge Meadows RCMP will set up a public book of condolence for people who want to express their sorrow at the death of Const. Rick O'Brien as a memorial to the fallen officer continues to grow at the detachment. Grace Ke reports – Sep 24, 2023

Dozens of community members have been visiting the vigil set up outside the Ridge Meadows RCMP detachment for fallen officer Const. Rick O’Brien.

One of those community members is teacher Steve Ball who spoke with Global News.

Ball brought flowers to the vigil to honour his late friend.

“I met Rick when he was working as an education assistant in the Chilliwack School District,” Ball said.

“He came in to work with one of the particularly troubled children in my classroom … he saved me on a daily basis. He kept that little guy busy.”

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Click to play video: 'Charges laid against 25-year-old following shooting death of BC RCMP officer'
Charges laid against 25-year-old following shooting death of BC RCMP officer

Ball said O’Brien had a friendly soul that led to a strong friendship.

“We had a really good time, we had a good relationship — lots of laughs and jokes. We kept each other sane that (school) year.”

O’Brien was shot and killed Friday morning while executing a warrant at a Coquitlam condominium building related to a Maple Ridge drug investigation.

Two other officers are recovering at home after one was shot in the incident. The suspect was also shot and sent to hospital.

Late Saturday afternoon, homicide investigators announced Nicholas Bellemare, 25, has been charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder with a firearm and remains in custody.

O’Brien had only been an RCMP member for seven years. He was a front-line officer who Ball said wanted to work once again with young students.

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“He had said he wanted to get into the schools to be a liaison-style officer and he was looking forward to pursuing that. I was quite excited for him because he was very excited,” Ball said.

“I think he would have made a wonderful liaison officer. I wish he would have gotten that chance.

“I’ll miss him forever.”

Click to play video: 'Ridge Meadows RCMP officer killed in incident in Coquitlam'
Ridge Meadows RCMP officer killed in incident in Coquitlam

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