A B.C. police officer is being remembered as a "hero" after he died today in an exchange of gunfire with a man accused of shooting at people in a parking lot.
Calling him a hero, Police Chief Bob Rich at a news conference said, "He was protecting our community. He will always be my hero."
Acc. to Rich, the officer was killed while trying to arrest a suspect who had allegedly opened fire in the parking lot of a shopping centre in the 3200 block of Mt. Lehman Road just before noon.
Chief said he had met with the dead officer's spouse and delivered the news in person."It's something I never wanted to have to do in my life, but I did it today, folks."
Police say the violence began at about 11:35 a.m., when a witness called 911 to report a possible stolen vehicle. The caller then used their car to block the suspect from leaving.
The suspect then stepped out of his vehicle with a shotgun, and began firing at the caller and other witnesses. When police arrived, they returned fire, and one officer was shot.
The suspect fled the scene in the car, but was arrested.
Premier John Horgan issued a statement as well, saying he was saddened by the news.
"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," Horgan said.