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Man charged with murder in Abbotsford police officer's death has no criminal record

Last Updated Nov 7, 2017 at 7:03 pm PDT

Flowers outside the Abbotsford Police Department, after the death of Constable John Davidson on November 6th, 2017. (Marcella Bernardo, NEWS 1130 Photo)

ABBOTSFORD (NEWS 1130) – The Alberta man accused of shooting an Abbotsford police officer to death has no criminal record, according to homicide investigators.

Oscar Arfmann has been charged with first-degree murder over the death of Constable John Davidson in a shootout in Abbotsford on Monday.

The 65-year-old apparently has no criminal record, does not have a valid firearms licence and does not have a valid driver’s licence.

Homicide investigators believe Arfmann fired shots at members of the public in a shopping mall parking lot on Mt Lehman Road. When police arrived, more shots were fired and John Davidson was fatally wounded.

Corporal Frank Jang, with the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, says the suspect then fled in a stolen vehicle, before being arrested.

“I can tell you that Mr Arfmann did at one point have a firearms licence but it since expired as of 2015. At the time that this happened he did not have a firearms licence,” he says.

“Mr Arfmann does not have a criminal record.”

Jang says no other police officer was injured in the gunfire.

Arfmann is in hospital and conscious, but Jang wouldn’t detail Arfmann’s injuries. On Monday, the Independent Investigations Office said Arfmann was believed to have injuries from a gunshot.

Investigators are asking for any witnesses and anyone with video to come forward. They’re still trying to figure out why Arfmann was in British Columbia and are asking any of his friends and associates to contact them.

Abbotsford Police chief constable hails John Davidson as a hero

Chief Constable Bob Rich has paid tribute to Davidson, who he says he was thrilled to have as part of the Abbotsford Police Department.

He’s detailed Davidson’s tireless work with young people, which involved a car crash prevention program for high school students, and creating a video for teenagers about the dangers of ecstasy.

Rich says the last opportunity he had to shake Davidson’s hand was on September 29th, after Davidson had completed the Cops for Cancer Tour de Valley cycle.

“John, for nine days, rode all those kilometres and he was so ecstatic to be involved with these young junior riders who were struggling in their own story, dealing with cancer. With all the communities he rode through, raising money for Cops for Cancer, for children’s cancer research.”

“The man was just a phenomenal athlete. He was so thrilled that he could take part in this ride and contribute to these kids’ lives, he was thankful for the opportunity.”

Rich says members of Abbotsford Police are hurting.

“I said it yesterday and I’ll say it again, John Davidson is my hero, he’s this community’s hero.”

“We have lost John and nothing can change that. John died doing what we asked him to do.”

“We honour John by looking after his family, we honour John by looking after each other, and we honour John by protecting this community and that’s what we’re going to do,” adds Rich.

“We’re hurting, we have people down on one knee. My order is that you’re not allowed to get up and try and pretend that you’re not down on one knee. My order is that you will get better, that you will ask for help, that we will work together, that we will care for each other.

“We have lost John, we will lose no one else.”

Rich says there has been fantastic support from the community. He says Davidson’s family is strong, but in shock.

“It’s going to be quite a journey.”

John Davidson was a police officer for 24 years.