As the RCMP prepares a military funeral for a Burnaby RCMP officer killed in the line of duty, family and friends are sharing more information about the identity of Const. Shaelyn Yang was when she was not wearing her uniform.
In particular, he is remembered for his love of martial arts and his dedication to helping others, especially those with mental health issues.
That dedication led him to a career with the RCMP, where he served as a mental health services officer.
As part of his job, Yang, 31, was accompanied by a municipal worker to call about a man in a tent on Oct. 18 when he was badly stabbed.
On Thursday, Yang’s family released a statement through the Burnaby RCMP asking for privacy as they grieve, paying tribute to a woman they described as “gentle but brave, compassionate but brave, ” who brought him laughter and joy wherever he went. “
“His thoughtfulness made us feel like we were always together.”
According to Dwayne McDonald, deputy commissioner of the BC RCMP, Yang was “a loving wife, sister and daughter.”
The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Vancouver told The Canadian Press that Yang was the daughter of immigrants from Taichung in central Taiwan and that her parents traveled from Taiwan to Vancouver to attend her funeral.
A ‘kind’ and ‘inspiring’ woman
Yang grew up in the Greater Vancouver area, his family said in a statement.
“He loved the country he grew up in and was deeply involved in his community as it shaped his upbringing,” the statement said.
Yang became interested in martial arts, taking up taekwondo followed by kendo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Rodrigo Carvalho runs the Brazilian jiu-jitsu studio in Vancouver where Yang has trained in recent years and said he has made many friends through training and competition.
Carvalho said: “She was a very kind woman.”[Her death] it’s just a disaster.”
Constable Shaelyn Yang
Regimental Number 66231
Loving wife, sister, daughter, friend…
Forever with us ♥️ pic.twitter.com/5386Unm4lF
Before joining the RCMP, Yang volunteered as an RCMP victim services worker where he worked with William Tsai, who said Yang focused on promoting mental health among youth. .
“His interest and dedication to uplifting others shone through when I met him years ago,” Tsai said in an interview conducted in Mandarin with The Canadian Press.
“His voluntary services left young people feeling inspired with the goals of making a difference in the lives of others, just like him. Many young people considered him a good role model.’
Yang became a police officer in 2019, a moment his family described as a dream come true for him.
“Shaelyn was proud of her uniform,” the statement read. “He dedicated his life to helping others, which is something he fought for, and we are very proud.”
Regimental Funeral on Nov. 2
Police said planning is underway for a regimental funeral service for Yang to be held at 11 a.m. PT on Nov. 2 Richmond Olympic Oval.
Regimental funerals include various RCMP customs and traditions, including a riderless horse-drawn procession in honor of the fallen Mountain, along with honorary riders.
In the days after Yang’s death, first responders held impromptu rallies to honor their fallen colleagues.
Thousands of police and emergency responders lined the streets on Oct. 19 when Yang’s body was moved from Vancouver General Hospital to Burnaby Hospital. Hundreds came out the next day in Surrey in a continued show of support.
McDonald of the RCMP said Yang’s colleagues described him as a “kind and compassionate person,” adding his “loss is immeasurable.”
Anyone wishing to send an electronic message to the family can email RCMP.Condolences-Condolences.GRC@rcmp-grc.gc.ca, and police said it will be forwarded to Yang’s loved ones and the troop. Burnaby.
Jongwon Ham, 37, is charged with first-degree murder in Yang’s death and will appear in court on Nov. 2.
With files from a Canadian Press story produced with funding from the Meta-Canadian Press News Fellowship, not involved in editorial work.