The body of an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer who was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, May 11 was transported to a funeral home in Rockland on Saturday, May 13 in an official procession.
Sergeant Eric Mueller, who served with the OPP’s Russell County Detachment, died as a result of being shot when responding to a disturbance at a home in Bourget early Thursday morning.
Late Saturday afternoon, a hearse carrying Mueller’s body was accompanied by many police cars and motorcycles from Ottawa General Hospital to the Brunet Funeral Home in Rockland.
Mueller was a 20-year veteran of the OPP and is survived by his wife and two young children.
Hundreds of police officers, firefighters, paramedics, and other citizens lined the route from the hospital to the funeral home. People had assembled on overpasses along Highways 417 and 174. As the procession entered Rockland on Highway 17, an arch formed by two aerial ladder fire trucks carrying a large Canadian flag went over the road. Outside the funeral home on Laurier Street, many more police officers stood at attention as pallbearers carried Mueller’s casket, covered with an Ontario Red Ensign flag, from the hearse into the funeral home.
City in mourning
Nearby at Clarence-Rockland City Hall, and at the Bourget Community Centre, the city had made books of condolence available for the public to sign as a show of respect for Mueller.
“We wish as a community to pay our respects,” said Mayor Mario Zanth outside city hall.
Zanth said the community is in shock since Mueller’s death on Thursday. He said the procession was an appropriate show of support from the community where Mueller lived and worked.
“It’s fitting to return here to the community where he will be laid to rest,” Zanth commented.
The mayor said he did not know Mueller personally, but this tragedy has still created a sort of connection to him.
“It’s almost like you do know him in a certain way,” remarked Zanth.
Funeral on May 18
A full police funeral for Sergeant Eric Mueller will be held at the Canadian Tire Centre in Kanata on Thursday, May 18, 2023. Details will be announced by the OPP once they have been finalized.
The OPP continues to appeal the media and public to respect the wishes for privacy by Sgt. Mueller’s family, as well as by the families of his two injured colleagues.