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The Globe and Mail

Family of fallen Toronto officer thanks supporters

The family of Sergeant Ryan Russell has spoken out to thank the public and police for supporting them during their ordeal.

Glenn Russell, the officer's father, appeared Friday at the downtown police division where his son worked. He was flanked by his wife, Linda, and his son's widow, Christine.

"To those of you who braved the winter weather, standing for hours in the funeral home, along the streets as our motorcade passed by, we did see you through our tears," he said. "It was your good wishes that gave us strength to get through this most difficult of times."

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Mr. Russell, a retired policeman, also thanked police officers and other law-enforcement personnel from across Canada and the United States who travelled to Toronto for Sgt. Russell's funeral earlier this week.

He said his son was proud to be a Toronto cop and "enjoyed working with such a fine group of people," especially his former colleagues at the guns-and-gangs task force and 52 Division's A platoon.

Mr. Russell also thanked the force's top brass and the Toronto Police Association.

"You've stood with us shoulder to shoulder every step of the way. We were able to lean upon you when we faltered," he said.

Richard Kachkar, 44, faces a charge of first-degree murder in relation to Sgt. Russell's death. He also faces two counts of attempted murder.

Mr. Kachkar appeared in court on Friday and was remanded into custody.

Police have identified Mr. Kachkar as the man who allegedly leapt barefoot into a snowplow near Regent Park around 5 a.m. on Jan. 12, stealing the vehicle and setting off a two-hour chase across Toronto. Police say he careered the plow between cars and rammed into Sgt. Russell near the corner of Davenport and Avenue roads.

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The rampage ended when police shot and wounded shot Mr. Kachkar near Keele and Annette streets, northeast of High Park.

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