BC RCMP Statements - Death of Cst. Frederick (Rick) O'Brien

Ridge Meadows, Coquitlam

2023-09-22 16:35 PDT

Table of Contents

Cst. Frederick (Rick) O'Brien Regimental # 62890  February 29, 1972 – September 22, 2023

Statement from Deputy Commissioner Dwayne McDonald

I am Deputy Commissioner Dwayne McDonald, the Commanding Officer of the BC RCMP.

It is with a deep and profound sadness that I must advise the public of the on-duty death of an RCMP Ridge Meadows member Cst. Rick (Frederick) O’Brien early today.

This is an extremely difficult and tragic day for the members of the Ridge Meadows Detachment, Coquitlam RCMP where the incident occurred, and the greater BC RCMP and RCMP family.

With respect to what happened, there are a few details we can provide, mindful there are two active investigations underway.

I can confirm that at approximately 10:00 am Ridge Meadows RCMP were executing a search warrant on a residence near the intersection of Pine Tree Way and Glen Drive in Coquitlam, B.C. While there, the attending officers became engaged in an altercation with a man which resulted in multiple officers being injured - including our member and the suspect being shot. Emergency Health Services transported all injured to hospital, but our officer did succumb to his injuries at scene.

The injured male suspect is in hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO BC) is now investigating the incident as it relates to police actions.

A concurrent investigation into the homicide of Cst. O’Brien and the injuries to our two other members is also underway and will be conducted by the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT).

As for our two members. One has been treated for their minor injuries and is with family. The other is still in hospital with non-life threatening injuries and has family and friends with them.

We all join in expressing our heartfelt condolences to Cst. O’Brien’s family. Cst. O’Brien was 51 years old, with a wife and children. He was born in Ottawa, He joined the RCMP in 2016 and just celebrated his 7th year of service a few days ago. All of his service with the RCMP was at Ridge Meadows Detachment as a frontline officer and in community policing. Within months of starting though he was involved in the rescue of a home invasion victims, which included a child and the arrest of armed suspects. He received a CO Commendation for Bravery and provincial award for those efforts. Cst. O’Brien led by example, and had a great sense of humour. He was well respected by his peers and the community.

I have spoken with RCMP Commissioner Mike Duheme and he has kindly offered any and all support necessary.

To say that today has been struggle is an understatement. The RCMP family is gutted. We are just days away from the BC Law Enforcement Memorial in Victoria that honours our fallen and about to approach the one-year anniversary of our previous tragic loss in Burnaby – Cst. Yang.

We are still healing from that tragic loss, but will pull together to do everything necessary.

While many who serve and protect will never have to pay the ultimate sacrifice as they do incredible and life changing things every day …. a day like today reminds us how dangerous the job can be and the ultimate price that is paid in service to our community.

Deputy Commissioner Dwayne McDonald
Commanding Officer, "E" Division

Statement from Superintendent Wendy Mehat, Officer-in-Charge of the Ridge Meadows RCMP

I am Superintendent Wendy Mehat, Officer-in-Charge of the Ridge Meadows RCMP.

This is a terrible day. Standing here and speaking about the impact of the on-duty death of Rick (Cst. Rick O’Brien) is the most difficult moment I have had in my career with the RCMP.

I cannot speak to the details of what unfolded today, but I can share that the loss of Rick will be felt deeply - By his family, his colleagues and to the communities of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, and across the country.

Rick’s contribution to his work and his fellow team members at this detachment was immeasurable.
He loved visiting schools, doing presentations and participating in the community to support food drives and sports events.

He spent his career here at Ridge Meadows Detachment, seven years, nearly to the day. He joined on September 19, 2016.

Rick was a highly-decorated officer. He was recognized for bravery

He was truly exceptional —a hard worker and he gave a lot.

His death is senseless and heartbreaking. He simply went to work today and he was killed doing his duty and keeping his community safe.

The hours, weeks and months ahead will be difficult. To our communities in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, and across the country – thank you for the outpouring of support. We know we are not alone in our unbearable grief.

We are also supporting our other two officers who were sadly injured during the incident. Thankfully, they are expected to recover from their injuries.

I would also like to thank the Coquitlam RCMP and other emergency agencies which responded to this incident today. I also want to thank our law enforcement colleagues who are taking on shifts at Ridge Meadows Detachment to give relief to our officers at the detachment and to ensure that operations continue and that public safety is not compromised.

Cst. Rick O’Brien will always be remembered. His service and sacrifice to our community will never be forgotten.

Superintendent Wendy Mehat
Officer-in-Charge of the Ridge Meadows RCMP


Those wishing to pay respects online can send condolences by email to RCMP.Condolences-Condoleances.GRC@rcmp-grc.gc.ca.

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