A 15-year veteran OPP officer has died after being shot in the head north of London Monday morning.
It happened close to Winthrop, a small community about 200 kilometres west of Toronto.
Cst. Vu Pham, 37, was in the process of pulling over a vehicle when the suspect, believed to be a 70-year-old man, allegedly pulled out a gun and pulled the trigger.
“He attempted to stop a vehicle and was confronted by an armed suspect, he was critically shot by a suspect,” OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino said during a press conference Monday. “Officers located the suspect and he was also shot…he too is presently in hospital.”
Pham, a married father of three, was airlifted to a London hospital and underwent surgery shortly after 10:30am.
Fantino grimly noted that he was in ‘grave’ condition, and he was pronounced dead later Monday.
“It is with a sense of loss and deep regret that I’m informing … that we lost officer Pham. He succumbed to his injuries a short while ago at hospital,” Fantino said late Monday afternoon.
“We are rallying around the family to make arrangements to truly express our appreciation to one of our heroes.”
Premier Dalton McGuinty echoed his sentiments. “With all Ontarians, I was sad to hear of the death of OPP constable Vu Pham. Today, we are reminded that our safety sometimes comes at a high price. As a husband and a father I cannot imagine the pain Constable Pham’s family must be feeling. As Premier, I want to convey the condolences of 13 million Ontarians who honour his service and his life.”
Witnesses say the two exchanged as many as 20 shots, but Fantino wouldn’t elaborate, noting the Special Investigations Unit has been summoned to probe the incident.