RCMP officer fatally stabbed in Burnaby worked in mental health, ‘died bravely’: commissioner

RCMP officer fatally stabbed in Burnaby worked in mental health, 'died bravely': commissioner
Burnaby RCMP
Const. Shaelyn Yang

Supervisors for a 31-year-old  RCMP officer killed in Burnaby, B.C., say she was “kind and compassionate.”

RCMP Deputy Commissioner Dwayne McDonald says Const. Shaelyn Yang “died bravely” during a confrontation at a homeless camp early Tuesday.

McDonald says the officer was stabbed to death while she partnered with a bylaw officer at the camp site.

He says a suspect was shot and injured and remains in hospital.

Yang had been with the RCMP just three years, working as a mental health outreach officer, and McDonald says she was a loving wife, daughter and sister.

Chief Supt. Graham De La Gorgendiere says Yang’s sacrifice to her community will never be forgotten.

As details of the tragedy unfolded, Solicitor General Mike Farnworth called Yang’s death a terrible tragedy.

Farnworth said Yang “sacrificed her life in the course of duty,” but he had no other details about her death.

A visibly shaken Farnworth added that it is “absolutely a tragic and horrific situation.”

He expressed sincere condolences to all police officers in B.C. on behalf of members of the legislature.

“Every day we ask thousands of men and women in uniform in this province to go out and do their duty, keeping our communities safe, keeping the public safe, knowing full well it’s an extremely dangerous job.”

Burnaby Mayor Mike Hurley said in a statement that they are devastated to hear of the death of the officer.

“Our thoughts are with her family, friends, fellow RCMP members and civilian staff during this terrible time. I know our city staff and the community will also feel this deeply — please seek support if needed. We will continue to work closely with the RCMP to provide all the support we can.”

The Metro Vancouver Transit Police Department tweeted “outrage builds as our hearts break.”

“Our officers worked closely with her and she will be deeply missed,” the statement said.

Federal Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said he was devastated by the news of Yang’s death in the line of duty.

“At this difficult time, my heart goes out to the family and friends of the deceased officer and to the entire Burnaby RCMP Detachment,” he said in a tweet.

Police departments from Vancouver to Ottawa also expressed their sadness at the loss on social media.

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. has confirmed it has been deployed to an incident involving police in Burnaby, but it would not confirm the stabbing or whether it involved RCMP.

The office investigates any incidents linked to police in B.C. involving serious harm or death.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 18, 2022. 

The Canadian PressThe Canadian Press

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