Family and colleagues remembered Const. Steve Déry as a role model, hero and a source of joy as more than 800 police officers and firefighters from across the country were in Ottawa for the northern Quebec officer's funeral.
Déry, a 27-year-old Kativik Regional Police Force officer, was shot and killed on March 2 while responding to a domestic dispute in Kujjuuaq in northern Quebec.
His family, including his brother, Ben — an Ottawa firefighter — attended the funeral along with hundreds of other police officers across Canada and about 100 Ottawa firefighters.
Déry, who grew up in the Ottawa neighbourhood of Orleans, is the first member of the Kativik Regional Police Force to die in the line of duty. All 15 members of the Kuujjuaq detachment attended the funeral.
Kativik's police chief, Aileen MacKinnon, was the first to speak at the service. She told those in attendance she was the last person to say goodbye in the hospital before the officer died.
"I lost one of my boys … our Superman," she said at the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica on Sussex Drive in Ottawa.
Other speakers included Déry's best friend, his brother and his uncle. An RCMP officer also read an emotional letter written by Déry's father, Gilles, a retired RCMP officer.
"You were a source of joy all your life," the officer read the letter, often pausing to hold back tears.
"You are a great police officer, a hero … Goodbye, I love you."
The shooting last weekend wounded a second officer, Joshua Boreland, but he is expected to recover. Quebec provincial police were called in to help with the 17-hour standoff.
A woman managed to escape the house during the stand-off. Later, police fired a flare into the house before members of the tactical squad moved in. They found the lifeless body of the alleged shooter, Jobie Saunders Jr., 21.
Police have set up an email where people can express their condolences to the family and friends of Déry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A book of condolences for the public will also be at the Ottawa police station at 474 Elgin St. from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.