Body of fallen hero Const. John Davidson returned to Abbotsford
Published Thursday, November 9, 2017 4:51PM PST
Last Updated Thursday, November 9, 2017 7:08PM PST
First responders and civilians waited by the roadside across the Lower Mainland Thursday to pay their respects to Const. John Davidson as his body was transported back to Abbotsford.
A long string of police cruisers with sirens activated accompanied the fallen hero on the emotional journey, which began at Vancouver General Hospital and ended at Henderson's Fraser Valley Funeral Home.
Davidson's family rode with police near the front of the procession.
All along the route, pockets of police officers, firefighters and members of the general public stood and saluted the deceased officer, who made the ultimate sacrifice Monday while confronting a gunman who had opened fire in a busy parking lot.
Some came from out of province to pay tribute, including Const. David Drummond of the Calgary Police Service, who knew Davidson from his time as a reserve officer in Abbotsford.
Drummond, like so many others who met him, remembers Davidson as an exemplary police officer and person.
"He's a man that you looked up to," Drummond said. "Things that I learned from him when I rode along with him have stuck with me, and I've passed them on to the people I work with. So he's left his mark on me."
When the officer's body arrived at the funeral home, crowds of people young and old were packed shoulder-to-shoulder by the sidewalk.
During the course of his career, Davidson was honoured multiple times for his efforts to get impaired drivers off the roads, and won a provincial crime award for a moving presentation he toured around high schools warning teenagers about the dangers of ecstasy.
He also recently took part in the Cops for Cancer Tour de Valley, a nine-day bike ride that fundraises for childhood cancer research.
"He was so ecstatic to be involved," Abbotsford Police Chief Bob Rich told reporters Tuesday.
"He was so thrilled that he could take part in this ride and contribute to these kids' lives. He was so thankful for the opportunity, and it sort of really brings home who I want you to understand John Davidson to be."
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to support his family through their grief, and has already raised more than $70,000.
A funeral service for Davidson is being held on Nov. 19.
With files from CTV Vancouver's David Molko