A FORMER police officer from the region has been killed while on duty in Canada.

PC John Davidson, who was an officer with Northumbria Police for 12 years, was shot while on duty in Abbotsford, British Columbia, on Monday.

The 53-year-old was  responding to reports of a possible stolen vehicle and shots being fired at members of the public in the car park of a shopping complex.

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There was an exchange of gunfire and Const Davidson was shot. He was taken to hospital with serious injuries and was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.

Northumbria Police's Acting Chief Constable Winton Keenen said: “We were very saddened to learn of the death of our former colleague who died bravely in the line of duty while serving as an officer in Abbotsford, Canada.

“Our thoughts are very much with his family, friends and former colleagues at this difficult time.”

John had been a police officer for 24 years, beginning his career in the UK working for the Northumbria Police from 1993 to 2005.

He worked as a 24/7 response officer in Byker and North Shields and latterly as a motor patrols officer just before he left for Canada.

The father-of-three started working for the police department in Abbotsford in 2006, working in the patrol, youth squad and traffic sections. 

A statement from the department said: "John was a dedicated police officer who devoted so much of his time to connecting with the community and helping kids."

Mr Keenen added: “Today many of our officers who knew John well during his career with us and kept in touch with him over the ensuing years are shocked by the events in Canada. We all want to express our sincere condolences to his family at this tragic news.”