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On Sunday, August 19, 1984, Constable Douglas Tribbling attended a burglar alarm at a Markham computer company on Steelecase Road, north of Steeles Avenue. Constable Tribbling arrived on scene at 10:08 p.m. to find the front door smashed in. He called for back up and went in to investigate. When his back up arrived only minutes later, Constable Tribbling was found with multiple gun shot wounds to the chest. His gun was still in his holster. Constable Tribbling was rushed to North York General Hospital where medical staff worked frantically to save his life.
While Constable Tribbling was fighting for his life, a massive manhunt was launched by over 100 officers from York Regional Police and the Metro Toronto Police Force. The area was surrounded, road blocks were erected, and every car was stopped and searched. The officers' efforts were hampered by the fact that there was no description of the suspect. They only knew that they were looking for a killer.
After fighting for forty-four hours, Constable Douglas Tribbling succumbed to his injuries without regaining consciousness. He died on August 21, at 6:37 p.m. Constable Tribbling was forty-nine years old at the time of his death and only two years from retirement.
Funeral services were held at Grace Anglican Church in Markham and the body was laid to rest at St. Philip's Anglican Cemetery. Over 2000 law enforcement officers from Canada and the United States attended the ceremony. The floral tributes to the slain officer was three rows deep.
Constable Tribbling began his career as a clerk with the Markham Township Police Department in 1956. He was an exemplary officer, dedicated to his profession, and was quickly promoted to the rank of Detective. Constable Tribbling had thirteen years service with York Regional Police Force at the time of his death.