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RCMP procession escorts fallen B.C. officer to Fraser Valley funeral home

RCMP officers will be escorting the body of 51-year-old Ridge Meadows constable Rick O’Brien from the hospital to a funeral home in the Fraser Valley on Tuesday. (B.C. RCMP - image credit)
RCMP officers will be escorting the body of 51-year-old Ridge Meadows constable Rick O’Brien from the hospital to a funeral home in the Fraser Valley on Tuesday. (B.C. RCMP - image credit)

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police honoured a fallen B.C. officer Tuesday with a procession from a Fraser Valley hospital to a local funeral home.

A motorcade escorted the body of Const. Rick O'Brien from the Abbotsford Hospital along Highway 1 to a nearby funeral home shortly after 1 p.m. The force issued a travel advisory for motorists while the sombre event took place.

O'Brien, 51, a decorated constable with the Ridge Meadows RCMP detachment, was fatally shot Friday while executing a search warrant at a residence in Metro Vancouver.

A father of six, he spent his whole policing career at Ridge Meadows and had recently celebrated seven years of service.

Bouqets of flowers and a photo of RCMP Const. Rick O'Brien are pictured on a growing makeshift memorial outside the Ridge Meadows RCMP detachment in Maple Ridge, B.C., on Saturday.
Bouqets of flowers and a photo of RCMP Const. Rick O'Brien are pictured on a growing makeshift memorial outside the Ridge Meadows RCMP detachment in Maple Ridge, B.C., on Saturday.

Bouqets of flowers and a photo of RCMP Const. Rick O'Brien are pictured on a growing makeshift memorial outside the Ridge Meadows RCMP detachment in Maple Ridge, B.C., on Saturday. (Yasmin Gandham/CBC)

The superintendent in charge of O'Brien's detachment, Wendy Mehat, said the constable loved visiting schools and supporting his detachment through drives and sporting events.

"His death is senseless and heartbreaking," Mehat said Friday. "The loss of Rick will be felt deeply, by his family, his colleagues, and the community."

O'Brien was also honoured by Canadian senators on Tuesday who held a moment of silence in their Ottawa chambers.

Suspect charged

The province's prosecution service has approved two criminal charges against 25-year-old man Nicholas Bellemare in the wake of O'Brien's death, which happened around 10 a.m. in Coquitlam, B.C., a city of 150,000 about 25 kilometres east of Vancouver.

Bellemare faces a first-degree murder charge, as well as a second count of attempted murder with a firearm.

In a statement Saturday afternoon, the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) revealed O'Brien and two other officers were at the time executing a warrant "in relation to a drug investigation" originating in Maple Ridge, B.C., when O'Brien was shot dead.

A search of B.C. online court records did not show any previous charges against the suspect, who is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 3 in Port Coquitlam. Until then, he will remain in custody.