Ridge Meadows – On September 22, 2023, at approximately 10 a.m., Ridge Meadows RCMP officers were executing a warrant in Coquitlam in relation to a drug investigation originating from Maple Ridge.
While there, the attending officers became engaged in an altercation with a man which resulted in Cst. O’Brien being fatally shot. A second RCMP officer was shot and wounded in addition to a third officer having sustained injures during the course of the event. The two wounded officers were transported to hospital where they were treated for injuries. They have since been released and are recovering at home. Cst. O’Brien succumbed to his injuries on scene, despite the best efforts of BC Emergency Health Services.
During the altercation, the suspect was also shot and wounded. As a result, the Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia (IIO BC) is running a concurrent investigation.
On September 23, 2023, the BC Prosecution Service approved charges against Nicholas Bellemare, 25, of Coquitlam. Bellemare has been charged with one count of First Degree Murder and one count of Attempted Murder with a firearm. Bellemare has been remanded in custody.
IHIT is working in partnership with Ridge Meadows and Coquitlam Detachments, the BC Coroners Service, and the Integrated Forensic Identification Section (IFIS). Investigators also wish to thank the Lower Mainland Integrated Emergency Response Team (IERT) Surrey RCMP, the Vancouver Police Department’s Firearms Lab, New Westminster Police Department and BC Emergency Health Service for their assistance.
Anyone who may have information regarding this homicide is asked to contact the IHIT information line at 1-877-551-IHIT (4448) or by email at: ihitinfo-grc.gc.ca.
The NPF community is heartbroken once again to learn of the tragic, on-duty killing of Maple Ridge RCMP Constable Rick O’Brien, and of the wounding of Maple Ridge RCMP Members earlier today in Coquitlam, while on duty.
Cst. O’Brien, 51 was a decorated police officer who, prior to joining the RCMP seven years ago, worked as an education assistant, a mental health worker, and a youth worker. He was a very giving and loving husband, father, brother, and son. Family was important to Cst. O’Brien, who is survived by his wife and their children. He will be deeply missed by all those who knew him and mourned by Canadians across the country.
We send our deepest condolences to Cst. O’Brien’s family, to the Maple Ridge and Coquitlam RCMP, and to all RCMP Members for their loss. We also wish a full and speedy recovery to our two injured Members.
The past year has proven to be very devastating to the community of police officers and their families and friends across the country. No one should fear their next shift could be their last, and no colleague should have to bear the unfathomable loss of a fallen peer. Thank you, Cst. O’Brien — we will never forget your ultimate sacrifice.