Details emerge on man accused of killing Abbotsford police officer
Published Tuesday, November 7, 2017 1:09PM PST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 7, 2017 6:18PM PST
The man accused of gunning down a police officer during a violent rampage in Abbotsford, B.C. this week is a senior from Alberta who doesn’t have a firearms licence.
On Tuesday, homicide investigators named 65-year-old Oscar Ferdinand Arfmann as the alleged killer of Const. John Davidson, and revealed they have secured one count of first-degree murder in the fatal shooting.
Police believe Arfmann stepped out of a stolen vehicle with a gun Monday morning, opened fire on the public in a busy parking lot, then engaged in a deadly shootout with police.
Davidson, who is being mourned as a respected 24-year police veteran, was the first officer to arrive and confront the alleged gunman.
Accused not allowed to have gun
It's unclear where the gun came from or how it was obtained, but Cpl. Frank Jang of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said the accused is not legally allowed to possess one.
"Arfmann did at one point have a firearms licence, but it did expire as of 2015," Jang said.
Investigators don't believe he has a valid driver's licence either, though he allegedly tried to flee from police in a black Mustang that had been stolen over the weekend from the MSA Ford dealership in the Fraser Valley Auto Mall.
Court records from Alberta show a man with the same name and birthday was convicted of impaired driving last year and given a 12-month licence suspension.
"He is from Alberta and so we're looking into his history from Alberta, and if there's anything of relevance… that's going to form part of our investigation," Jang said.
A witness photo circulating on social media shows Arfmann wearing sunglasses and carrying a large gun at the shooting scene. Experts told CTV News it appears to be an SKS semi-automatic rifle.
Tracking suspect's movements before shooting
IHIT also released a photo of Arfmann Tuesday in the hopes that someone will recognize his face and help investigators piece together his movements in the hours and days before the murder.
"We need to know more about Mr. Arfmann," Jang said. "Any friends (or) associates watching this now, please come forward and speak with our investigators."
Police have not confirmed whether the accused was living in Alberta or B.C. at the time of the shooting, or if he has any specific connection to Abbotsford.
CTV News has learned there is an Oscar Arfmann from Alberta whose 60-year-old wife died in 2013, though officials have not confirmed it is the same man. A store clerk from the small community of Ashmont said she was an acquaintance of Arfmann's when he lived there last year.
“For the most part he was a nice man,” Brittany Plamondon said. “He was respectful but he did have his occasional drinks and sometimes he’d get aggravated really easily and it made everybody more alert. You just did what he asked and got him out.”
Arfmann was shot by officers during his arrest Monday, according to police watchdog the Independent Investigations Office, and appears to have been struck in the face and head.
The extent of his injuries hasn't been confirmed, but IHIT said he remains in hospital and is expected to survive.
"He is alive. He is conscious," Jang said.
The charge against him, first-degree murder, is automatically applied when someone is accused of killing a police officer under the Criminal Code of Canada.