Nicholas Bellemare, who is accused of shooting and killing Ridge Meadows RCMP Const. Rick O’Brien, made a brief court appearance by video on Tuesday morning, Nov. 7, at provincial court in Port Coquitlam.
Bellemare is charged with first degree murder – every killing of a police officer results in a charge of first degree murder, irrespective of whether the murder is planned. He is also charged with a second count of attempted murder. Bellemare is a 25-year-old Coquitlam resident.
O’Brien was killed, and two other Ridge Meadows RCMP officers wounded, when they executed a warrant at a Coquitlam residence on the morning of Sept. 22. The warrant related to an ongoing drug investigation.
A second officer suffered a gunshot wound, and a third officer suffered injuries which were not caused by bullets.
Bellemare’s court date on Tuesday was a brief pre-trial appearance, and any evidence given was subject to a ban on publication. He remains in custody, and will be back in court for his next appearance on Jan. 16, 2024.
O’Brien was 51, had been a Mountie for seven years, and had been decorated. A Langley resident, he left behind a wife and six children. Persons charged with a criminal offence are considered not guilty until the charges are proven in court.
A gofundme.com page to raise money for his family has raised more than $175,000.