Eric Mueller returns home

Par Raymond Berthiaume
Eric Mueller returns home
OPP honour guard

Welcomed by an honour guard of dozens of police officers standing to attention in the bright afternoon sun, a procession of police vehicles escorted Mueller’s casket, draped in an Ontario flag, into Théo Burnet Funeral Home as dozens more residents lined Rockland’s Laurier Street.

The procession of police vehicles, flanked by fire trucks, travelled from the Ottawa Hospital’s General Campus, where Mueller was taken after being shot, arriving in Clarence-Rockland around 4:30 p.m., with police officers and first-responders gathering on overpasses along the route.

Through his Twitter account, OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique said “today, Sgt. Eric Mueller will make a final trip to Rockland, escorted by family, friends and colleagues. I invite anyone in the area who wishes, to stand safely on an overpass, or along Highway 17, to show respect to this fallen hero.»

Clarence-Rockland Mayor Mario Zanth, former mayor and MP Jean-Marc Lalonde and Russel Township Mayor Pierre Leroux were all in attendance.

“This hit hard for many residents. Not only was he one of our protectors, but he was also one of our neighbours, friends, colleagues,” said Leroux of Mueller, who was stationed and lived in Embrun.

“The procession of Sgt. Mueller through Rockland was very moving,” said Mayor Zanth. “Seeing not only hundreds of emergency personnel but citizens paying their respects to the family and the force reminds us how important it is to come together and support one another.”

Mueller, 42, a 21-year veteran of the force, was killed after police responded to a call reporting gunfire at a residence in Bourget. Mueller and two other officers were struck after an individual in the home shot at the responding officers.

All three were taken to the Ottawa Hospital where Mueller later died from his injuries. One officer remains in hospital. The other was released home after receiving treatment as of Thursday.

Mueller leaves behind a wife and two children.

Police arrested Alain Bellefeuille, 39, and charged him with one count of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder. He remains in custody.

A police funeral will be held for Mueller at the Canadian Tire Centre on Thursday, May 18.

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