Suspect accused of killing B.C. police officer didn't have gun licence
Jackie Dunham, CTVNews.ca
Published Wednesday, November 8, 2017 8:42AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, November 8, 2017 12:55PM EST
The man accused of killing a police officer during a shootout in B.C. was from Alberta and didn’t have a firearms licence, according to new details that have emerged about the suspect.
Oscar Ferdinand Arfmann, a 65-year-old man from Alberta, was arrested in Abbotsford, B.C. following an exchange of gunfire with police who were responding to reports of a possible stolen vehicle and a suspect shooting at members of the public in busy parking lot on Monday morning.
Following the exchange of gunfire with police, the suspect fled in a black Mustang that had been reported stolen from the MSA Ford dealership in the Fraser Valley Auto Mall. He was apprehended at a nearby intersection and taken to hospital.
Arfmann was shot by police officers during his arrest, according to police watchdog the Independent Investigations Office. It appears he was struck in the face and head, they said.
IHIT said the suspect is still recovering in hospital and that he’s expected to survive.
“He is alive. He is conscious,” Jang said.
Arfmann was charged with first-degree murder in the death of 53-year-old Const. John Davidson, who was the first one to arrive on the scene to confront the suspect, Abbotsford police said.
Under the Criminal Code of Canada, a first-degree murder charge is automatically applied when a suspect is accused of killing a police officer.
Homicide investigators told reporters on Tuesday that they don’t know how Arfmann obtained a gun or where it came from but that he was not legally permitted to possess one.
Investigators said they don’t believe the accused had a valid driver’s licence either.
“Arfmann did at one point have a firearms licence, but it did expire as of 2015,” Cpl. Frank Jang of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) said.
The suspect was from Alberta, but police haven’t been able to confirm if he was living there or in B.C. at the time of the shooting. They also don’t know why Arfmann was in Abbotsford in the first place.
Police released a photo of Arfmann in the hopes that someone will recognize him and provide information on his whereabouts in the days and hours leading up to the shooting.
"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."
A photo captured at the scene by a witness and circulating online shows a man with long gray hair, a trucker hat and sunglasses carrying a large rifle at the scene of the shooting. A former Vancouver police firearms instructor told CTV Vancouver that the gun in the photo appears to be an SKS semi-automatic rifle.
A man with the same name and birthday as Arfmann was convicted of impaired driving in 2016 and given a 12-month licence suspension, according to court records from Alberta.
Police did not say whether Arfmann was cooperating with the investigation.
With files from CTV Vancouver