OPP officer confirmed dead after shootout Related Topics Vu Pham ht tp://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=2668361 More Tyler Anderson/National Post The exterior of a home at 82352 North Line in Huron East, Ontario on Tuesday, March 9, 2010 SUNDRIDGE, Ont. -- Ontario Provincial Police have charged a 70-year-old former politician from Sundridge, Ont., with first-degree murder in the death of Constable Vu Pham, who once lived in the same small town but who was shot to death on a rural road about 350 kilometres away on Monday. Fred Preston, who was wounded in a shootout with police on Monday and who remained in critical condition in a London, Ont., hospital last night, was also charged with attempted murder in relation to a second officer. On Monday, shortly after 10 a.m. Const. Pham responded to a call on North Line, Huron County, north of London. While stopping a vehicle, the constable was shot and fatally wounded as he exited his cruiser. A second OPP officer in proximity located the suspect, who was shot after he fired at the second officer, police said. Yesterday, as Const. Pham's family was preparing for his funeral tomorrow, Mr. Preston's family was still reeling from the news that the former reeve, described as a loving father, was the suspect in the dramatic southern Ontario shootout. Police allege Mr. Preston shot Const. Pham, a father of three, when the 15-year police veteran pulled over the white pickup truck Mr. Preston was driving in Leadbury, about 90 kilometres north of London. Mr. Preston grew up in Sundridge, a small village of 1,000 located in central Ontario. Const. Pham, who was born in Saigon in 1973 and who was a survivor of the Vietnam War, moved to Sundridge after being taken in by the pastor at the town's Pentecostal Church. After living in Sundridge for several years with his adoptive family, Const. Pham eventually decided to join the OPP. Last night, Mr. Preston remained on life-support at the London Health Sciences Centre-Victoria Campus with a bullet lodged in his brain, according to his family. "I've given it a lot of thought -- sitting in the bush all morning -- lots of time to think," said his brother, Clark Preston, 72. "We never expected anything like this." During Monday's shootout, Mr. Preston was allegedly shot at least four times by responding officers, his family said. Two bullets were removed from his stomach and one from his thigh. "You can take this to the bank -- I don't believe for one minute, he intended to kill that police officer," Clark Preston said. Fred Preston's three grown daughters, Cindy, Penny and Ann, were on their way to see their father yesterday. His estranged wife, Barb, was believed to be living in North Bay, Ont., following the couple's recent separation. The two were married for 52 years and lived for 20 years in a two-storey white house on Forest Lake Road that Mr. Preston had built. "He's an easygoing guy, very peaceful," said Gil Chartrand, Mr. Preston's neighbour of 21 years. Mr. Preston, a logger and construction worker, was the youngest of seven boys and one girl. The family, originally from Newmarket, Ont., had lived in Sundridge for nearly 60 years. Three of the brothers lived on the same road as Mr. Preston, who was the reeve of the nearby Township of Joly until he lost his seat five years ago. His family said they believe Mr. Preston was in Leadbury to visit his wife's sister and her husband. Const. Pham's sister-in-law, Heather Thompson, who still lives in the village, said the past few days have been tough for the family. She described Const. Pham as a "wonderful family man" who enjoyed hunting, fishing and being outdoors. Although they may have crossed paths, Ms. Thompson said her family did not know Mr. Preston, but were close with some of his relatives. "We're friends with his family members, that's not going to change," she insisted. Const. Pham's relatives were beginning to gather in Wingham, Ont., with the officer's wife and three children yesterday. Suspect in OPP killing dies By CBC News, cbc.ca, Updated: March 11, 2010 10:40 PM Fred Preston, who faced charges in the shootout death of an Ontario Provincial Police officer, has died, the province's Special Investigations Unit confirmed late Thursday. Preston, 70, had been in critical condition in London's Victoria Hospital after being shot several times in a shootout on a rural road near the community of Seaforth in southwestern Ontario. Relatives of Preston said he died in the evening after he was taken off life support. The confrontation killed Const. Vu Pham, a 15-year OPP veteran, who was shot and killed Monday after pulling over a pickup truck on a rural southwestern Ontario road. Preston was then wounded in an exchange of gunfire after another officer got to the scene near Wingham, Ont., north of London. Preston was charged Wednesday with first-degree murder in the death of Pham and attempted murder regarding the other officer. Pham died several hours after being flown to London's Health Sciences Centre, with his wife and three children at his side. Hundreds of people lined up around the block outside the McBurney Funeral Home at the visitation for Pham in Wingham Thursday night. Thousands of police officers are expected to attend Pham's funeral Friday. Preston was a former Ontario township council leader who was struggling with marital problems. The father of three grown daughters, he was the reeve of Joly Township on the western edge of Algonquin Park from the 1990s until 2003. Sources said Preston's wife left him last fall and moved in with their youngest daughter in southwestern Ontario. Police believe Preston was on his way to see his wife when he was pulled over by the OPP.