Dash cam video played at trial of man accused of killing Abbotsford police officer
Published Monday, June 17, 2019 10:42AM PDT
Last Updated Monday, June 17, 2019 3:17PM PDT
A witness whose dash cam video shows him following a driver who he believes may have a gun testified at the trial of Oscar Arfmann.
Arfmann, 67, is charged with first-degree murder in connection with the fatal shooting of Abbotsford Police Const. John Davidson on Nov. 6, 2017. Arfmann has pleaded not guilty.
- Scroll down or tap here to read through what happened during Monday's court appearance
Crown witness Lawrence Siefert testified he was in a McDonald’s drive-thru at a shopping complex on Mount Lehman Road in Abbotsford when he heard two loud bangs.
Two loud noises could also be heard when the court viewed dash cam video from Siefert’s truck.
Siefert testified he then saw “a guy standing in front of me with a rifle.”
He told the court the man was standing between a blue pickup and another vehicle. He testified the man appeared to be trying to reload the rifle.
The dash cam video showed a brief glimpse of someone standing between two vehicles holding something as Siefert’s truck turns. Siefert can then be heard on the video calling 911 while driving around, telling the call taker there’s someone “shooting up cars.”
During the call, Siefert describes the man’s vehicle either a black Mustang or Camaro, with Alberta plates. He also describes the man to the call taker as having long hair and wearing glasses and a leather jacket.
Siefert testified he followed the vehicle after it left the parking lot. The dash cam video shows him driving behind a car while still speaking to the 911 call taker, who at one point asks him to stop following the car. Siefert testified the car in front of him was driving “casually.”
Siefert testified he followed the car back to the parking lot. On the video, sirens can be heard and a marked police car can be seen arriving. The video comes to an end not long after that.
Siefert testified he also noticed that a white vehicle pulled up next to the car once it returned to the parking lot. He told the court he believed it was an unmarked police vehicle.
He also testified he noticed two shell casings and one live round on the ground after returning to the lot, and used washer fluid containers to mark them until a police officer came by.
During cross examination, the defence told Siefert they were “puzzled” by his behaviour in following the car, adding “you knew your actions might impact the driver’s behaviour.”
The defence suggested Siefert had driven by “quickly” when passing the person he thought had a gun. Siefert agreed he had not actually seen anyone shooting.
The defence also questioned Siefert’s memory of what he saw that day. At points, Siefert testified he was adamant about identifying the same car: “I saw the same man standing beside the same black car with the same rifle.”
Davidson's final moments discussed during trial
Before the trial adjourned for two weeks in May, the final police radio voice recordings of Davidson were played in court.
During testimony from one of Davidson’s colleagues, Const. Kevin Murray, audio recordings were played of dispatchers and police communicating over radio on Nov. 6, 2017 just before Davidson was shot in the parking lot of an Abbotsford shopping complex.
The recordings began with an an emergency tone, then a dispatcher could be heard announcing a report of shots fired at the complex on Mount Lehman Road. Murray testified he recognized Davidson’s voice, saying he was also responding to the call.
Davidson’s last radio dispatch referred to being behind a Mustang that was heading back into the mall. Later, the dispatcher announces a report of more shots fired.
Then Murray can be heard asking, “John, where are you?” After that, there’s a report of an officer down.
Crown witness Jarin Skett testified previously about how she had been working in her office at the complex when she heard two shots and looked out the window to see Davidson fall.
“One of my coworkers yelled out, ‘he just shot a cop’,” Skett told the court.
Skett testified she tried to get through to 911, then ran out to the fallen officer. When asked why by the Crown, she tearfully told the court: “'Cause he didn’t need to be alone.”
Skett testified she also tried to call for help using Davidson’s police radio. During the recordings, a voice could be heard at one point, saying “hello, hello”. Skett told the court Davidson was lying face down with his hands above his head, and blood was on the ground.
The court also previously heard testimony from a car dealership employee and general manager, who told the court they had recognized a Mustang that had been stolen from their lot days before the shooting, and police were called.
The employee, Corey Thomas, testified he drove his blue Ford F-150 to the shopping complex and boxed in the Mustang so it could not move. He then testified he was confronted by Arfmann.
“He told me to 'move that piece of shit,'" Thomas told the court.
Thomas said he then told Arfmann that police were on their way.
"I’ll show you what I have in store for the police," Arfmann said, according to Thomas’ testimony.
In its opening statement, the Crown said Davidson was the first officer to arrive on scene and was shot twice from behind.
The trial is adjourned till Thursday, June 20.
This is a developing story and will be updated throughout the day.