Guilty verdict in fatal shooting that killed on-duty Abbotsford police officer

Oct 10 2019, 4:15 pm

A man who fatally shot an Abbotsford Police officer two years ago next month was found guilty of first-degree murder in the case on Thursday.

On November 6, 2017, the Abbotsford Police Department responded to a report of a possible stolen vehicle. Shots were fired as police arrived on scene resulting in Const. John Davidson being fatally wounded.

IHIT assumed conduct of the investigation and apprehended Oscar Arfmann. That same day, he was was charged with the murder in connection with Davidson’s death.

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The day of the shooting, Bob Rich – the Abbotsford Police Chief at the time of the incident – said the whole situation began at 11:35 am, when police received a call about a possibly stolen vehicle in the parking lot of a shopping complex on Mt. Lehman Road.

Rich said the caller was so sure the vehicle was stolen, he blocked the suspect’s vehicle in while waiting for the police to arrive.

He said it was then that a man emerged from the vehicle and “began shooting at the caller – and others – with a shotgun.”

APD officers arrived in the area and attempted to “engage and arrest” the suspect and there “was an exchange of gunfire,” said Rich.

It was at this point Davidson was shot by Arfmann.

Abbotsford suspect Oscar Arfmann

Oscar Arfmann (BC RCMP)

Arfmann then fled the area in the stolen vehicle, but was arrested in the intersection of Mt. Lehman Road and Fraser Highway.

Davidson was taken to hospital with “very serious” injuries and was pronounced dead, shortly after he arrived.

On Thursday, current Abbotsford Police Chief Mike Serr spoke about department’s response, following the verdict.

“We all felt heavy,” he said. “We kind of hoped that we would be happy by the decision, and feel that was a good result – and it was, but nonetheless, we felt very heavy.”

Serr said the department “lost a very good man.”

Davidson’s family, he said, lost a husband, a dad, a son, and a brother.

“That void is never going to be filled, and that hole will always be there,” he said. “We in the Abbotsford Police Department lost an outstanding cop and a great man and again for us, it’s a huge hole.”

Serr said he – along with the department – has gone through a wide range of emotions in the case.

“We’re certainly happy – “first degree” – that means a lot to us,” he said. “But there’s really never full closure in this.”