Abbotsford/New Westminster -FEBRUARY 3 UPDATE – On Monday, the sentencing phase will begin in the trial of Oscar Arfmann, who was convicted of killing Abbotsford Police Cst John Davidson.
Since the 2017 deadly ambush, Arfmann was convicted of first-degree murder. That comes with an automatic 25 year sentence before parole can be considered. Victim impact statements will be read this week. Arfmann’s mental capacity was under scrutiny, but the Judge ruled that he knew and was aware of what he was doing.
JANUARY 13, 2020 UPDATE (Matt Krause) – In a reverse decision Oscar Arfmann, found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Abbotsford Police Const. John Davidson in 2017, will not have his previously scheduled hearing aimed to determine if he was “not criminally responsible” (NCR) in the death of Davidson.
The surprise announcement was read in New Westminister’s B.C. Supreme Court Monday, January 13th. Following the announcement, it was noted that this case will now proceed to a February 3rd hearing regarding victim statements among other items.
The decision means that Arfmann will receive an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years. Arfmann initialled received this conviction by Justice Carol Ross on October 10th.
It was on this date that Ross initially agreed to a NCR hearing to determine to what extent, if any, Arfmann could find remorse for his actions that lead to the death of Davidson in 2017. This hearing was to take place in New Westminister from February 3rd-28th with an additional follow-up of Arfmann’s mental health to be undertaken no later than November 29th.
If the NCR hearing were to proceed, the BC Review Board would have been responsible for assessing Arfmann’s mental health to determine whether he be discharged from hospital with or without conditions or be held in hospital.
It was during the previously scheduled NCR hearing that evidence, including Arfmann’s mental health, not touched on in Arfmann’s trial last year was to be presented. Although it’s worth noting that Arfmann had been previously diagnosed with schizophrenia as per defence lawyer Martin Peters.
Davidson was killed in the parking lot of a strip mall on Mt. Lehman Road after responding to reports of shots being fired at civilians. Following a short yet dramatic chase, Arfmann was arrested not far from the scene.
Ross said in the October 10th trial that she had no doubts that it was Arfmann who killed Davidson and was responsible for his death.
#AbbyPD is pleased with today’s decision that the person who killed Cst. Jonh Davidson will receive a life sentence & his family & witnesses will not have to go through a NCRD. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this outcome & all the amazing support we have received. pic.twitter.com/BZKYElHVGE
— Mike Serr (@ChiefSerr) January 13, 2020
Arfman will now receive an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years.
OCTOBER 10 UPDATE – A judge in New Westminster Supreme Court handed down a guilty verdict on the man accusing of killing an Abbotsford Police Officer in 2017.
Oscar Arfmann was the man accused of killing Abbotsford Police Cst. John Davidson in 2017. He was convicted of first-degree murder is the daylight shooting.
Mental Health issues have been brought up in this trial. To the extent that the defence has asked the judge to take that into account during sentencing.
Having said that, Madame Justice Carol Ross ordered a second psychiatric assessment of Arfmann to determine his mental state at the time of the shooting.
If that is established, Arfmann could still be found not criminally responsible for the killing.
Davidson’s murder rattled the APD to the core, let alone the community. The Constable was well respected in Abbotsford for his personal and professional en devours.
Davidson’s family as well as plain clothes and uniformed officers are at the trial.
In January 2018, the decision for a judge only trial was made.
IHIT has reserved comment for the time being.
Arfmann will back back in court in February 2020 for the results of the second psychiatric evaluation.
MAY 27 UPDATE – Not Guilty, Your Honour. That was the plea to the judge on Monday morning in a New Westminster Court by Oscar Arfmann.
Arfmann is the man accused of killing Abbotsford Police Cst. John Davidson in 2017. He has been charged with first-degree murder is the daylight shooting of the APD officer.
Monday was the first day of the trial at BC Supreme Court in New Westminister. The judge-only trial is expected to last eight weeks.
May 25, 2019 UPDATE – After a pre-trial procedure, the First Degree murder trial of Oscar Arfmann is expected to start Monday May 27. Arfmann is charged in the 2017 shooting death of Abbotsford Const. John Davidson after a frantic car chase that ended in gunfire. The trial will be in New Westminster.
The trial is expected to last about eight weeks. Originally Arfmann elected to have a trial by jury, but that has since been changed to a judge-only trial.
JANUARY 16, 2018 UPDATE – The trial of Oscar Arfmann is expected expected to last 8 weeks. The man accused of shooting and killing Abbotsford Const. John Davidson will be a jury trial. Arfmann made an appearance in New Westminster Supreme Court Tuesday morning. Crown and the Defense must consider which court facility, Chilliwack or New West, can best accommodate a jury trial. Chilliwack only has one Supreme Court room that can house a jury. New West has more facilities.
In the end , the Judge ruled Oscar Arfmann will be tried in New Westminster instead of Chilliwack for the 1st degree murder of Davidson.
Due to space of the Chilliwack courthouse and a jury trial of this magnitude, it would mean the virtual shut down of the Chilliwack courthouse.
JANUARY 15 UPDATE – While it was expected at 65 year old Oscar Armann was to be back in court in Chilliwack in February, The BC Prosecution Service announced that a pre-trial conference in the case of R. v. Arfmann, Chilliwack court file number 67330, has been scheduled for January 16, 2018 at 9:00 AM in New Westminster Supreme Court.
JANUARY 12 UPDATE – 65 year old Oscar Arfmann made his first court appearance Friday morning in Abbotsford Provincial Court. This was a short affair as the Crown has indicated that Arfmann will be back in court February 26. That appearance will be in B.C. Supreme Court in Chilliwack to set a date for trial. A preliminary trial date was expected, that has been waived (such a procedure would be to see if there was enough evidence to go to trial). As expected security was tight as will be his next showing in February.
JANUARY 6, 2018 UPDATE – 65 year old Oscar Arfmann, the accused (from Alberta) in the shooting death of Abbotsford APD Const. John Davidson , made his first court appearance today. He is still on track t0 return to court for his next appearance on January 12. There is still no word if there was any psychiatric assessment done.
NOVEMBER 28 2017 UPDATE – 65 year old Oscar Arfmann, who has been charged with First Degree murder in connections with the shooting death of APD Const. John Davidson , made his first court appearance today.
Standing in the docket at Abbotsford Provincial Court, he looked ragged and disheveled. He was squinting and trying to focus on the proceeding. Crown nor Defense made any reference to any possible mental health review.Even if there was a call for a psychiatric review, now that the case is going through the court system, that would not be announced at this time.
This will be the fist of many court appearances. Arfmann is next due in court on January 12, 2018.
NOVEMBER 26 UPDATE – Sixty-five-year-old Oscar Arfmann is expected to make his first court appearance Tuesday November 28. He is charged with First degree murder in the shooting death of Abbotsford Const. John Davidson. A first degree murder charge is automatic is the homicide of a police officer in Canada.
NOVEMBER 8 – Crown has now laid charges in the murder of APD Officer Const. John Davidson.
65 year old Oscar Ferdinand Arfmann from Alberta has been charged with one count of first degree murder. Under the Criminal Code, any killing of a Police Officer will result in the charge of First Degree Murder. He does not have a criminal record nor does he have a valid firearms licence and does not have a valid driver’s licence. Arefmann is expected to be in court November 28.
Global reports that he has had family issues. His sister in law said he had mental health issues since the death of his wife three years ago. Arfmann is a retired trucker who recently moved to BC.
IHIT is seeking public assistance in locating any video and/or photographs taken during yesterday’s incident. We are also requesting that any witnesses to the events that have not yet spoken to police, please contact IHIT investigators.
In order to further IHIT’s investigation, a photo of Mr. Arfmann is being issued publicly to assist us in retracing his movements in the days leading up to the events. Anyone with information is asked to call the IHIT information line at 1-877-551- IHIT (4448), or by email at email@example.com. Should you wish to remain anonymous, please contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.
3PM NOVEMBER 7 UPDATE – At a media briefing on Monday afternoon – Abbotsford Police Chief Constable Bob Rich confirmed that an officer has died after being shot near Mt Lehman Road. Another officer was shot and is in hospital.
Video courtesy KAM Productions/Kevin MacDonald
Global reports that this (ironically) started on Saturday with the theft of a Ford Mustang from the Abbotsford Automall. Automall employees spotted the stolen car on Monday morning at a near by strip mall and circled the vehicle. The gun man showed up with a long gun and the first shots were fired. The suspect drove off with police in pursuit which ended in a flurry of exchanged gunfire.
An Alberta man in his 60s has been arrested.
This is the official statement from Premier John Horgan on the death of the Abbotsford Police Department officer:
“On behalf of the Province of B.C., I want to say that we are deeply saddened to hear of the death of an Abbotsford Police Department officer this afternoon while answering a 911 call. My heartfelt condolences go to the family, friends and colleagues of this officer at this very difficult time. As British Columbians, we are filled with grief at this tragic loss and give gratitude to all those who put their lives on the line for us every day. I understand that the Independent Investigations Office, Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, and others are involved in investigating this tragedy and we will let them do their work.”
Abbotsford MP Ed Fast posted on Facebook : Today a member of the Abbotsford Police Department was killed in the line of duty protecting our community. Our hearts are filled with sadness at the loss of this life, and our prayers are with the officer’s family as they grieve. Our thoughts are also with the other injured officer and with Chief Bob Rich and all members of the Abbotsford Police Department during this very difficult time.
From Jody Haaf Garneau of the Abbotsford Discussion group: A police officer passed away today while protecting us, the public. Myself and a few others will be bringing flowers and candles to the front of the Abbotsford Police Department tonight at 7pm to show our respect for the fallen officer and to stand together as a community. If you have the time please join us. May he rest in peace.
The official APD Media Release:
At 11:35 am the Abbotsford Police Department received a report of a possible stolen vehicle in the parking lot of a shopping complex in the 3200 block of Mount Lehman Road. The caller blocked the suspected stolen vehicle in while awaiting police arrival. A male suspect then began shooting at the caller and others with a shotgun. There were several 911 calls received reporting the shots fired at 11:52 am.
APD officers arrived in the area and attempted to engage and arrest the suspect. There was an exchange of gunfire. An APD officer was shot and injured during this contact with the suspect. The injured APD officer was transported to hospital with very serious injuries.
The suspect then fled the area in the stolen vehicle and was apprehended by APD officers in the intersection of Mount Lehman Road and Fraser Highway. He was transported to hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The suspect is a male in his sixties from Alberta.
The injured APD officer was pronounced dead in hospital shortly after arrival.
This is a continuing investigation with many details and questions to be addressed in time. Our priority will be supporting the officer’s family and each other as we deal with these tragic circumstances. The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) has been deployed and the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) is assuming the investigation.
ORIGINAL STORY – Abbotsford Police say at least two officers have been injured and a suspect in custody after an “incident” on My Lehman Road.
This happened around Noon on Monday.
APD have not commented that this was a shooting although some witnesses on social media posted that they heard shots fired in the area.
APD say there are no outstanding public safety concerns at this time, however, traffic along Mt Lehman from Fraser Hwy to north of the Automall will be slow or detoured.