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Man who shot Abbotsford cop found guilty of first-degree murder

Last Updated Oct 10, 2019 at 9:23 pm EDT


A guilty verdict has been handed down in the shooting death of an Abbotsford Police officer who was killed on the job

The defence is arguing Oscar Arfmann's mental state may have been a factor

NEW WESTMINSTER (NEWS 1130) —  The man accused of shooting an Abbotsford police officer in 2017 has been found guilty of first-degree murder.

Oscar Arfmann pleaded not guilty to the charges in the death of Const. John Davidson in November 2017, but a judge ruled the Crown proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Davidson was shot while responding to reports of a stolen vehicle, with the Crown arguing he was ambushed while climbing out of a police cruiser.

While he has been found guilty, whether he will be found criminally responsible for the killing is undetermined.

The court has approved a secondary assessment of Arfmann’s mental health, because a preliminary assessment showed some indications he suffers from schizophrenia, and his illness may have played a role in the crime.


Abbotsford Police Chief Mike Serr says he’s feeling a wave of emotions, but welcomes the guilty verdict.

“I don’t know if there is ever justice. I’m pissed off, I lost a very good police officer, and the city lost a very good man, and this decision, while we’re very happy that it’s a guilty verdict, nothing will bring John back,” he said.

“We kind of hoped that we would be happy [with] the decision, and feel that was a good result – and it was. But nonetheless, we felt very heavy. We lost a very good man.”

Serr says the loss leaves a void that can never be filled.

“That hole will always be there,” he says. “We’re certainly happy that a guilty verdict, first-degree [murder], that means a lot to us, but there’s never really full-closure in this, but we are happy.”

During the trial, defence lawyers argued the lack of Davidson’s blood on Arfmann’s clothing raised the issue of reasonable doubt, given the close proximity of the shooting, but the judge disagreed.

– With files from the Canadian Press