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Procession carries body of slain OPP officer from Toronto to Manitoulin Island

Last Updated Nov 23, 2020 at 4:54 pm EST

Photo: Thomas Carrique @OPPCommissioner/Twitter

An escort home was held Monday for an Ontario Provincial Police officer killed in the line of duty last week.

Const. Marc Hovingh died Thursday after an incident on Manitoulin Island that also resulted in the death of a civilian.

His body had been brought to Toronto for an autopsy and was taken back to Manitoulin Island in a hearse accompanied by two police cruisers, the provincial police union said.

Sgt. Kerry Schmidt, a spokesman for the OPP, said the procession drove more than five hours from Toronto to Little Current on Manitoulin Island.

The force had encouraged supporters to follow the procession’s live feed on Twitter.

“Because we’re in this pandemic, we’re on lockdown, we’re in a different situation here right now,” Schmidt said.

“There’s not a lot of opportunity for paying of respects and for gatherings.”

Hovingh was one of the officers who responded to a call Thursday regarding an “unwanted man” on a property in Gore Bay, Ont., on Manitoulin Island.

According to the Special Investigations Unit _ Ontario’s police watchdog _ Hovingh and civilian Gary Brohman died in hospital after an exchange of gunfire.

Thursday’s procession had headed north on Highway 400 to Highway 69, and then followed highways 17 and 6 into Little Current.

On the way to Hovingh’s hometown in Barrie, Ont., people stood on an overpass to express their condolences, Schmidt said.

“Very powerful moment,” he said during the force’s live stream of the procession.

“Obviously it’s been a horrible week and a few days here for the OPP family, for the Hovingh family as well.”

Hovingh was a 28-year veteran of the force.

The Special Investigations Unit is probing the death of Brohman, while OPP said Sudbury police will investigate Hovingh’s death.