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Police escort body of fallen Const. John Davidson to Abbotsford

Jennifer Saltman, Postmedia

Vancouver police, BC Ambulance, sheriffs and other first responders line Grandview Highway in Vancouver to pay their respects to Abbotsford Constable John Davidson,Thursday, November 9, 2017. (Jason Payne/ PNG)

Vancouver police, BC Ambulance, sheriffs and other first responders line Grandview Highway in Vancouver to pay their respects to Abbotsford Constable John Davidson,Thursday, November 9, 2017. (Jason Payne/ PNG)

The body of fallen Abbotsford Const. John Davidson is being escorted by a police motorcade from Vancouver General Hospital to an Abbotsford funeral home.

The procession, which started around 2:30 p.m., travelled along 12th Avenue and Grandview Highway in Vancouver to Highway 1. The procession then travelled along the highway until the Sumas exit in Abbotsford.

Davidson, who was a police officer for 24 years, was killed in the line of duty on Monday in Abbotsford.

He was first on scene when police were called to a report of a stolen vehicle and a man firing a gun at bystanders in a strip mall in the 3200-block Mt. Lehman Road. Davidson was shot, and declared dead shortly after he arrived at hospital.

The suspect was arrested after police collided with his vehicle in the intersection of Mt. Lehman and Fraser Highway. He suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Oscar Ferdinand Arfmann, 65, was charged on Tuesday with first-degree murder.

Davidson began his law-enforcement career with the Northumbria Police Department in the United Kingdom, where he worked as a 24/7 response officer in Byker and North Shields, and later as a motor patrol officer. He was with the department for 12 years.

“Many of our officers who knew John well during his career with us and kept in touch with him over the ensuing years are shocked by the events in Canada,” temporary Chief Const. Winton Keenen said in a statement. “We all want to express our sincere condolences to his family at this tragic news.”

Davidson joined the Abbotsford police in 2006, and worked with patrol, the youth squad and traffic sections.

FUNDRAISER FOR FAMILY

The Abbotsford Police Union has set up a fundraising page for the family of fallen officer Const. John Davidson.

The union wrote on the page that Davidson “lived his life to the fullest and was always looking to help others. John was a selfless individual who was always looking to better the lives of those around the community.”

In less than a day, the page raised more than $45,000 — the goal is $50,000.

The money will go toward “supporting his family in a way that will help ease their burden during this time.”

The police department is collecting condolences at apdhero386@gmail.com. Members of the Legislative Assembly and the public can also leave condolences by signing a book at the B.C. Legislature Hall of Honour, Speaker Darryl Plecas said on Thursday.

jensaltman@postmedia.com

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