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Community gathers in Bourget, Ont. for the funeral of Sgt. Eric Mueller

In the small town of Bourget, Ont., where OPP Sgt. Eric Mueller was killed in the line of duty, residents gathered to watch the funeral, and pay their respect to the Ontario Provincial Police officer who helped to protect the community.

Lowered flags wave in the wind, a reminder of a small-town tragedy, and a salute to Sgt. Mueller, who made the ultimate sacrifice for the residents of Bourget and Clarence-Rockland, east of Ottawa.

"We’re a small enough community that when one is hurting, we are all hurting,” says Yves Roy, manager of enforcement and construction with the city of Clarence Rockland. "And we’re all going to support each other to help each other heal."

The death deeply felt by those who live here, like Joseph Gonsalves, a Bourget resident of more than 40 years. He joined neighbours at the community centre to watch the funeral, mourn and honour the town's fallen officer.

"It just got me to the core of my belief and how important it is for our police officers to be respected and loved. They do a fine, great job for our community and all over," Gonsalves says. "My son is one too and that’s what made me really moved about the whole thing … it’s just the beginning of his life; that man Eric was a great man, he loved his family."

Sgt. Mueller’s death, the result of an unjustifiable action, which long-time resident, Jeanette Hamilton, will never understand.

"I have lived here for 20 years and everybody knows everybody, but nobody knows this guy," she says. "This is a tragedy and huge loss to our community."

Ontario Provincial Police officers remain at the scene of the shooting as the investigation continues. For many here, it will be a long road to recover from the events of May 11.

But for Hamilton, like others at the community centre, healing begins by sharing thoughts of support and prayers, through a message of thanks in a book of condolences.

"I told his family they’ll see him again," Hamilton says. "For now, he’s in the arms of the angels." Top Stories

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