An RCMP officer was shot and killed and two other Mounties and a suspect were injured following an “altercation” in Coquitlam on Friday.
Police say officers with the Ridge Meadows RCMP were executing a search warrant at a home at the intersection of Pine Tree Way and Glen Drive around 10 a.m. when they “became engaged in an altercation with a man.”
Const. Rick O’Brien, 51, was shot and died at the scene Friday.
Two other Mounties were injured in the encounter. Both were taken to hospital and one was released shortly after, following treatment of minor injuries Friday.
The other officer remained in hospital Friday for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.
Meanwhile, the male suspect was also shot and taken to hospital where he remained with non-life-threatening injuries.
‘The RCMP family is gutted’
Police say O’Brien recently celebrated his seventh year on the force, and had earned a commendation earlier in his career for being one of eight officers who entered a home during an armed home invasion to help rescue hostages and arrest the suspects.
He is survived by his wife and children.
“To say that today has been struggle is an understatement. The RCMP family is gutted,” said RCMP Deputy Commissioner Dwayne McDonald in a statement Friday.
The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is reviewing the incident. The IIO is called whenever there is a police incident that results in serious harm or death, regardless of if there are allegations of wrongdoing.
The RCMP’s Integrated Homicide Investigation Team is also conducting its own investigation.
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On Friday morning, witness Carley Hodges said she saw one officer being taken out of a building on a stretcher while getting chest compressions.
“They were bringing him to the ambulance and they were giving him CPR, they were going back and forth, like really going at it,” said Hodges, adding that she saw blood on the injured officer.
A second officer was bleeding from the leg with a tourniquet above it, she said.
Hodges said she saw a man in handcuffs and described a frantic scene, with “tons of police cars, ambulances, and fire trucks coming in.”
Premier David Eby told reporters that a critical incident had happened in the city, but the public was no longer in danger.
Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart said he was briefed about the incident along with the premier and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth.
Stewart said the incident took place in a very busy location on Friday morning.
“There were moments of chaos,” he said.
“This kind of stuff is extremely troubling.”
McDonald says RCMP continue to mourn Const. Shaelyn Yang, who was fatally stabbed in Burnaby last year, as well as O’Brien, particularly as Police and Peace Officers’ National Memorial Day approaches on Sunday.
“While many who serve and protect will never have to pay the ultimate sacrifice as they do incredible and life changing things every day …. a day like today reminds us how dangerous the job can be and the ultimate price that is paid in service to our community,” he said.