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Coquitlam man, 25, charged with first-degree murder of Mountie

Nicholas Bellemare of Coquitlam is charged with murder in connection with the fatal shooting on Sept. 22 of Const. Frederick “Rick” O’Brien. Bellemare is also charged with attempted murder with a firearm.

A 25-year-old Coquitlam man is now charged with the first-degree murder of a Ridge Meadows Mountie.

Today, Sept. 23, BC RCMP announced that the BC Prosecution Service had approved the count against Nicholas Bellemare of Coquitlam in connection with the fatal shooting on Friday, Sept. 22 of Const. Frederick “Rick” O’Brien.

Bellemare, who remains in custody, also stands accused of attempted murder with a firearm after another officer from the Ridge Meadows detachment was shot.

Bellemare’s next appearance is Tuesday, Oct. 3 at Port Coquitlam Provincial Court at 9:30 a.m.; a publication ban is imposed.

O’Brien was executing a search warrant with two Mounties in relation to a drug investigation that originated in Maple Ridge when the fatal altercation happened in the Evergreen building on Glen Drive at around 10 a.m.

The third officer was also hurt in the line of duty.

Besides O’Brien and the second officer, the suspect was also shot.

As a result, the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. (IIOBC) is running a concurrent probe, RCMP stated.

The Independent Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) is working with police at the Coquitlam and Ridge Meadows detachments, as well as the BC Coroners Service and the Integrated Forensic Identification Section.

“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,” Supt. Mandeep Mooker, IHIT’s officer in charge, said in a statement.

“We wish to send our sincere condolences to everyone impacted by this tragic event.”

Meanwhile, Supt. Went Mehat, Ridge Meadows officer in charge, tweeted that “while we grieve the loss of Const. Rick O’Brien, I would like to thank the community for your unwavering support to the Ridge Meadows RCMP.”

“Rick was a dedicated police officer and a wonderful human being. We will miss him tremendously.”

Ottawa-born O'Brien, 51, is survived by his wife and children.

He joined the RCMP in 2016 and had just marked his seventh anniversary with the detachment where he served as a frontline officer and community police officer.

O’Brien earned a CO Commendation for Bravery and a provincial award for rescuing victims of a home invasion, including a child.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the IHIT Information Line at 1-877-551-IHIT (4448) or by email at [email protected].