Charges have officially been laid in a tense search warrant gone wrong situation that led to the death of a Ridge Meadows RCMP officer.
On Sept. 22 at approximately 10 a.m., several Ridge Meadows RCMP officers were executing a warrant at a Coquitlam residence as part of an ongoing drug investigation, explained IHIT media relations officer Sgt. Timothy Pierotti.
“While there, the attending officers became engaged in an altercation with a man which resulted in Const. O’Brien being fatally shot,” said Pierotti.
During the operation, a second Maple Ridge officer was shot as well, with a third sustaining non-firearm-related injuries.
The wounded officers were transported to the hospital and have since been released to continue their recovery at their respective homes.
However, O’Brien was pronounced dead at the scene, with his injuries proving to be too severe for the BC Emergency Health Services paramedics who attempted life-saving measures on him.
“This is a profound loss and I understand it will have a lasting effect on Const. O’Brien’s family, friends, colleagues, and the community,” said IHIT Officer-in-Charge Supt. Mandeep Mooker. “We wish to send our sincere condolences to everyone impacted by this tragic event.”
“During the altercation, the suspect was also shot and wounded,” said Sgt. Pierotti. “As a result, the Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia (IIO BC) is running a concurrent investigation.”
The suspect, who has now been identified as 25-year-old Coquitlam resident Nicholas Bellemare, is being charged with one count of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder with a firearm.
At this time, Bellemare remains in police custody.
IHIT will continue to work in partnership with the Ridge Meadows RCMP and Coquitlam RCMP, as well as the BC Coroners Service, and Integrated Forensic Identification Section to investigate this situation.
Anyone with information regarding this homicide is asked to contact IHIT at 1-877-551-4448 or ihitinfo-grc.gc.ca.