Langley Rams held a pre-game tribute and moment of silence for fallen RCMP officer Rick O’Brien on Saturday, Sept. 30 at McLeod Athletic Park in Langley.
His wife, Nicole Longacre O’Brien, and daughter Taylor Longacre, were present at field side, and could be seen hugging each other close and dabbing at their eyes as they stood with team president Dana Matheson, his wife Laurel, and family friend Kimberly Hundley.
On Monday, an online message posted by Nicole said “I wanted to take a moment to personally thank my friends and my community for all the love and support that has been outpouring for Rick and I. Being involved in our communities has always been so important to both us.”
“Thank you again for all the condolences and messages,” she added.
“They have truly warmed my heart. I feel very loved and supported.”
O’Brien was a 51-year-old Willoughby father of six, who worked for the past seven years as a Ridge Meadows RCMP constable.
Rams announcer Derek Slavin read the tribute to the fallen officer over the stadium public address system
“He was a very giving and loving husband, father, brother, and son,” to whom family was “incredibly important,” the statement said.
“He will be deeply missed by all those who knew him, and more by Canadians across the country.”
O’Brien, a Rams supporter, had presented the 2019 Canadian Bowl Trophy to Saskatoon Hilltops on behalf of the Canadian Junior Football League.
“We send our deepest condolences to Constable O’Brien’s family, Nicole and the kids, to the Maple Ridge RCMP, and to all RCMP members for their loss,” the tribute went on to say.
“We also wish a full and speedy recovery to our two injured members.You are a true hero, Rick, and the Rams family will never forget you.”
A moment of silence followed.
A 50-50 draw for the family raised a record amount of just over $4,400, with half going to the O’Briens.
Matheson called the memorial presentation “very touching” and thanked the community for their support.
O’Brien was shot when members of the Ridge Meadows RCMP executed a search warrant on a Coquitlam residence on Friday, Sept. 22.
He was declared dead at the scene. Two other officers were taken to hospital and later released, one suffering from a gunshot wound, the other from a non-firearm injury.
The suspect was also shot, and taken to hospital.
On Wednesday, Oct. 4, a regimental funeral will be held for O’Brien at Langley Events Centre at 2 p.m.
Members of the public are being asked to wear red on Oct. 4 instead of purchasing flowers or other gifts.