Abbotsford Police Chief Bob Rich speaks at a press conference on Tuesday to discuss fallen officer Const. John Davidson. Members of the Abbotsford Police Department stand behind him. (Vikki Hopes/Abbotsford News)

‘We have lost John and nothing can change that,’ Abbotsford Police chief says

Const. John Davidson was identified earlier today as the victim in yesterday’s shooting of a police officer

Abbotsford Police Chief Bob Rich described Const. John Davidson today as a “hero,” who was also a dedicated family man and member of the Abbotsford community who was a phenomenal athlete.

Davidson has been identified as the officer shot and killed yesterday at an Abbotsford shopping centre.

At a press conference this afternoon, Rich said Davidson was a dedicated police officer who loved working with students and young people.

Rich remembered watching Davidson take part in a Mennonite Education Institute run alongside students, returning and then going out with another batch of students.

“The man was just a phenomenal athlete,” he said.

In September, Rich met with Davidson after the latter man had taken part in the nine-day Cops For Cancer ride around the Lower Mainland.

“He was so excited to be involved with the young junior riders,” Rich said.

Rich hailed Davidson for his bravery in responding to an active shooter situation on his own, and that of the other officers who took down the suspect within minutes of him fleeing the shooting scene.

“Those officers are also my hero today,” he said.

Rich also spoke of how his department is dealing with the killing of one of its members.

“We honour John by looking after his family, we honour John by looking after each other, and we honour John by looking after this community,” he said.

Rich said he is encouraging members to talk about difficulties they may have and reach out for help if they need it.

Rich said other departments have helped provide support across Abbotsford, including controlling yesterday’s crime scene. He estimated around 100 had helped in Abbotsford yesterday and dozens more are on the ground again today.

Watch the video of the press conference below.

A press conference from the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team is anticipated later this afternoon.

BREAKING: Charges laid in officer’s killing.

Read: More on Davidson’s 24 years in law enforcement here.

Read: Resident remembers ‘honourable’ Davidson defusing road rage situation.

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Const. John Davidson (Abbotsford News file photo)

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