First responders pay tribute to B.C. RCMP officer killed in line of duty


Thousands of first responders lined the streets in Vancouver and Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday to honour the life of Burnaby RCMP Const. Shaelyn Yang, who died Tuesday in the line of duty. 

Yang, 31, was responding to a call about a tent in a local park when she was fatally stabbed. 

“She was a loving wife, a sister, and a daughter,” Dwayne McDonald, the deputy commissioner of the B.C. RCMP, told a news conference on Tuesday.

“Those she worked with before joining the RCMP and her police colleagues described Const. Yang as a kind and compassionate person, which makes her death even more difficult to accept … Her loss is immeasurable.”

WATCH | First responders line streets to pay tribute to fallen Burnaby RCMP officer

First responders line streets to pay tribute to fallen Burnaby RCMP officer

Thousands of police and other first responders lined the streets as the body of RCMP officer Const. Shaelyn Yang was transported between Vancouver General Hospital and Burnaby Hospital Thursday morning.

The procession made its way from Vancouver General Hospital to Burnaby Hospital.

Members of British Columbia’s Taiwanese Canadian community are also paying tribute to the Burnaby Mountie.

William Tsai says he got to know Yang, who also went by the given name Tzu-Hsin, four years ago when she was a civilian volunteer working on raising mental health awareness among teenagers.

Tsai says in an interview in Mandarin that Yang was passionate about the cause, dedicated to lifting up teenagers and others involved in her volunteer work who saw her as a role model.

He says the death of the 31-year-old officer has left the community heartbroken but proud.

Ruby Ba, the president of the B.C.’s Taiwanese Canadian Association, says the community will do whatever it can to support Yang’s family and has been in contact with the RCMP about holding a memorial in her honour.

Yang, who was a homeless and mental health outreach officer, was partnered with a municipal worker on Tuesday when she was fatally stabbed in an altercation at a homeless campsite in Burnaby, east of Vancouver.

“The Taiwanese community has been talking about paying tribute to Const. Yang … We will be there whenever and wherever we can to help out.

“Right now, we are just waiting to see if there are any further announcements released to the public by the police,” said Ba.

Jongwon Ham has been charged with first-degree murder and is expected to make a court appearance on Nov. 2.

The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, Taiwan’s de facto diplomatic office in Vancouver, says Yang was the daughter of immigrants from Taichung in central Taiwan.

“We have been in contact with the family and will provide all assistance and support to the family,” said a spokesperson.

Tsai says community members hope to hold a memorial next month to pay tribute to Yang’s contributions to Canada.

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta-Canadian Press News Fellowship, which is not involved in the editorial process.

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