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A look at B.C. officers killed in the line of duty

“He simply went to work today and was killed keeping his community safe.”

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Ridge Meadows RCMP Const. Rick O’Brien was shot and killed in the line of duty in Coquitlam on Friday.

The 51-year-old officer was killed after a police search at a Coquitlam condo complex escalated into a deadly gun battle.

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“The loss of Rick will be felt deeply by his family, his colleagues and the community of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows and Coquitlam and across the country. Rick’s contribution to his work and his fellow team members … was immeasurable,” said Ridge Meadows RCMP Supt. Wendy Mehat.

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“Rick loved visiting schools and helping students, doing presentations, supporting our detachment food drives and sport events.”

O’Brien worked for the Pitt Meadows RCMP detachment in the uniformed community response unit, which focuses on community-based policing and outreach to youth, unhoused people and First Nations, as well as working with general duty officers.

He and six other Mounties disrupted a violent home invasion during his first few months of duty, earning O’Brien a commissioner’s commendation and medal of valour.

“He was truly exceptional, a hard worker and a good human being. His death is senseless and heartbreaking,” said Mehat. “He simply went to work today and was killed keeping his community safe.”

READ MORE: ‘He was truly exceptional’: Mountie killed in Coquitlam was decorated officer, a father of six

Here are some of the officers killed while on duty in B.C. in recent years:

Shaelyn Yang
RCMP Const. Shaelyn Yang. Photo by Handout /The Canadian Press

Oct. 18, 2022: Burnaby Const. Shaelyn Yang was fatally stabbed while helping a city parks employee check on a man living in a tent at Broadview Park. Jongwon Ham has been charged with first-degree murder in connection to her death.

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Const. John Davidson
Const. John Davidson Photo by HO /THE CANADIAN PRESS

Nov. 6, 2017: Abbotsford Police Department Const. John Davidson was shot and killed after he responded to reports of a possible stolen vehicle and shots fired. Oscar Arfmann ambushed the 53-year-old officer as he got out of his vehicle and shot him twice from behind.

RCMP Const. Sarah Beckett.
RCMP Const. Sarah Beckett. Photo by Handout /PNG

April 5, 2016: RCMP Const. Sarah Beckett, a 32-year-old mother of two young children, was killed when her marked police car was struck broadside by an impaired driver in Langford. She was the first female police officer to die on duty in B.C.

Constable Jimmy Ng
Constable Jimmy Ng Photo by Handout /PNG files

Sept. 15, 2002: Richmond RCMP Const. Jimmy Ng, 31, died when his police cruiser was broadsided by a street racer who ran a red light at an estimated 134 km/h. Stuart Chan was jailed for the hit-and-run crash.

Sgt. Larry Young.
Sgt. Larry Young. Photo by Handout /Vancouver Sun

Feb. 2, 1987: Sgt. Larry Young, a Vancouver police emergency response team leader, was shot and killed by a drug dealer waiting in ambush as Young led a raid on a basement suite. More than 1,000 officers of all ranks from across North America marched in Vancouver at his funeral

Const. Tom Agar.
Const. Tom Agar. Photo by Province /Library files

Sept. 19, 1980: Const. Tom Agar, 26. was shot to death at the Richmond RCMP detachment by gunman Steven LeClair, who had just gone on a shooting rampage in Vancouver. Another officer was injured.

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Const. Roger Pierlet
Const. Roger Pierlet Photo by PNG /Library files

March 29, 1974: Const. Roger Pierlet was shot dead after stopping a car in Cloverdale while working what was supposed to be his last shift.

Kamloops RCMP constables, Gordon Pedersen, 25, Don Weisgerber, 23, and Joseph Keck, 25
Kamloops RCMP constables, Gordon Pedersen, 25, Don Weisgerber, 23, and Joseph Keck, 25 Photo by Province /PNG

June 18, 1962: Three young Kamloops RCMP constables — Gordon Pedersen, 25, Don Weisgerber, 23, and Joseph Keck, 25 — were killed by George Booth, an amateur marksman with a history of mental problems.


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