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Officer didn't like guns

An Abbotsford, B.C., police constable killed in the line of duty was remembered as dedicated and caring, a man who had a gut-busting sense of humour and a dislike for carrying guns.

Thousands of officers and first responders jammed into Abbotsford Centre on Sunday while members of the public filed into spill-over centres for the celebration of life for 53-year-old Const. John Davidson.

His police partner, Const. Renae Williams, described him as a man with a sense of humour who took far longer to get coffees because staff at the coffee shop couldn't understand his thick Scottish accent.

"He could take it as well as he could dish it out and did more than his fair share of doling out playful barbs. Most of his comebacks included the line 'Well back in the U.K. we did this.'"

Davidson got his start in policing in Northumbria in the northeastern United Kingdom in 1993 and had worked in the Abbotsford department for 11 years.

He had a gift of gab, was respectful and civil to the public, level-headed and believed there were lessons to be passed on with each traffic stop, Williams told the service.

"He was tough, but more than fair. That was evident by the number of people I have seen shake his hand after getting a ticket."

Williams said he pushed himself to be first, whether it was during a workout or in the number of impaired drivers he could arrest or in trying to help others.

"Which is exactly what happened on Nov. 6, 2017," she said, her voice cracking with emotion.

"For a man who hated guns and never became comfortable carrying a gun after coming over from the U.K., he was one of the first to step in and intervene when a call of shots fired came in."

Before the ceremony began Sunday, thousands in the building were silent as eight of Davidson's fellow officers carried his coffin into the arena.

Abbotsford's police chief, Bob Rich, told the service Davidson was the first officer to arrive when there was a report of a man firing rounds from a shotgun into a truck.

"When that shot rang out, evil won. There was an oily blackness that fell upon our city. It was awful. I cannot imagine a darker thing to have happen to us," Rich said.

Rich said the suspect was later surrounded by five Abbotsford police vehicles and officers fired on the vehicle, hitting the suspect.

"That man's evil intentions, I totally believe, were to kill more of us. There was going to be a rampage in the city of Abbotsford. I don't know who would have fallen," he said. "But they stopped him at that moment and their lights shone bright at that moment."

A suspect, Alberta resident Oscar Arfmann, 65, has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with Davidson's death.



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