A memorial for Const. Frederick "Rick" O'Brien is growing outside of the Coquitlam building where the Mountie was fatally shot last Friday, Sept. 22.
Bouquets of flowers, as well as cards, candles and trinkets, are being placed next to the front door of the Evergreen building on Glen Drive — the site where O'Brien and two other Ridge Meadows RCMP officers were executing a search warrant in relation to a drug investigation in Maple Ridge.
"To Officer O'Brien," one card reads from two Vancouver Police Department officers, "Thank you for your service and keeping our communities safe. Forever in our thoughts."
Another envelope is addressed to the RCMP while others wrote on their cards "Always in our hearts" and "Sending wishes to the entire community."
It is alleged O'Brien, a husband and father to six children, was killed in the line of duty by Nicholas Bellemare, 25, who was also shot in an altercation, along with another police officer.
Bellemare faces two criminal charges in connection with the death of O'Brien:
- first-degree murder
- attempted murder with a firearm
Bellemare has been remanded in custody; his next court appearance is Oct. 3 at Port Coquitlam Provincial Court. A publication ban has been imposed on the proceedings.
"This is a profound loss and I understand it will have a lasting effect on Cost. O’Brien’s family, friends, colleagues and the community," said Supt. Mandeep Mooker, Office- in-Charge of the Integrated Homicide Investigations Team (IHIT), in a statement.
"We wish to send our sincere condolences to everyone impacted by this tragic event."
Anyone who may have information regarding this homicide is asked to contact the IHIT information line at 1-877-551-IHIT (4448) or email email@example.com.
Meanwhile, a GoFundMe site to raise money for the O'Brien family has generated more than $132,000 — after the goal was raised twice.
The online collection is being organized by the National Police Federation Benevolent Foundation in partnership with the National Police Federation.
Among the most recent contributors include the "D" watch of the Coquitlam RCMP, which donated $1,000.
"Rest in Peace brother — a hero in life," its message reads on the website, which has been accepting funds from across the country in O'Brien's memory.