On a fateful Friday morning, the fatal shooting of RCMP Constable Rick O’Brien, 51, while executing a search warrant, jolted the quiet suburb of Coquitlam, located just 30 kilometers east of Vancouver. The incident also injured two other officers, leaving the community in mourning and the law enforcement community in shock.
Const. O’Brien, a dedicated officer with seven years of service at the Ridge Meadows detachment. He was known for his exemplary leadership, sense of humor, and deep community involvement. He leaves behind a grieving wife and children, and his loss has cast a dark cloud over the close-knit community.
“This is an extremely difficult and tragic day,” stated Deputy Commissioner Dwayne McDonald, the Commanding Officer of the B.C. RCMP, during a news conference held to address the incident. “Const. O’Brien led by example. He had a great sense of humor, he was well respected by his peers, and he was loved in his community.”
Despite receiving immediate medical attention from first responders, Const. O’Brien succumbed to his injuries at the scene. Another officer and the suspect involved in the altercation are currently hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries, while a third officer was treated for minor injuries and subsequently released. The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team is diligently probing the circumstances surrounding Const. O’Brien’s death and the injuries sustained by the two officers. Simultaneously, the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) is conducting an independent investigation into the police actions during the incident.
Community Mourns the Loss of a Dedicated Officer
The scene was marked by a significant deployment of emergency responders. It include police officers in tactical gear, who arrived at the 2900-block of Glen Drive around 11 a.m. PT. Eyewitnesses like Carley Hodges recounted the chaotic scene, describing an injured officer receiving emergency medical attention, a suspect taken into custody, and a heavy police presence with riot shields, battering rams, and rifles.
Deputy Commissioner McDonald expressed the RCMP’s heartfelt condolences to Const. O’Brien’s family and acknowledged the deep impact of this loss on the RCMP community. “He said, ‘The RCMP family is gutted, we are just days away from the B.C. Law Enforcement Memorial in Victoria that honors our fallen.’
Born in Ottawa, Const. O’Brien joined the RCMP in 2016 and dedicated his entire service to the Ridge Meadows detachment. Shortly after joining, he earned an award for bravery, reflecting his commitment to protecting the community. Wendy Mehat, superintendent in charge of the Ridge Meadows detachment, spoke highly of Const. O’Brien’s dedication, describing him as an exceptional and hardworking officer known for his active involvement in the community, including visits to schools and support for various detachment initiatives.
Superintendent Mehat remarked that the loss of Rick would deeply affect his family, colleagues, and the community. “His death is senseless and heartbreaking. Rick O’Brien was on his way to work that day when he was killed.
The Coquitlam community, along with law enforcement agencies across British Columbia, mourns the loss of Constable Rick O’Brien. They honors his memory as a dedicated officer who gave his life in the line of duty.