Burnaby RCMP officer killed on the job

A 31-year-old RCMP officer has died after being stabbed in Burnaby, B.C., while working on a mental health and homeless outreach team.

A Burnaby RCMP officer has been killed.

Mounties say Cst. Shaelyn Yang was fatally stabbed during an altercation Tuesday morning. Yang had been called to assist a Burnaby city parks employee after there were reports of a man in a tent at Broadview Park in the area of Canada Way just after 11 a.m.

Emergency responders were able to get to the officer, but, “despite their best efforts Cst. Yang succumbed to her injuries,” said BC RCMP Deputy Commissioner Dwayne McDonald.

“Cst. Yang died bravely. She answered the call for duty [Tuesday] and she paid the ultimate price,” McDonald added.

“She was a loving wife, a sister and daughter. Those she worked with before joining the RCMP and her police colleagues described Cst. Yang as a kind and compassionate person, which makes her death even more difficult to accept.”

Photo of Burnaby RCMP Cst. Shaelyn Yang who police say died in the line of duty Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022.

(Courtesy: BC RCMP)

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) is now investigating.

Mounties say the suspect in the stabbing was shot and is being treated in hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

Cst. Yang lived in Richmond and started her career working as a volunteer part-time with Richmond RCMP’s Victim Services before becoming a police officer in 2019, according to a statement from Mcdonald.

“The loss of Shaelyn will be felt by many. Her death impacts her family, friends, the RCMP family, and the community she so passionately served. Her loss is immeasurable,” McDonald said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

She also worked with Burnaby RCMP’s Police Mental Health and Homeless Outreach Team, according to Burnaby RCMP Chief Superintendent Graham de la Gorgendiere.

“She was compassionate and caring and she brought those skills every day to her job, working with our community’s most vulnerable, including those experiencing homelessness and mental health issues,” said de la Gorgendiere.

“Working with mental health and homelessness can be challenging, but Shaelyn embraced that job with passion. She found value working with this team and working with those struggling in our community … Her service and sacrifice to our community will never be forgotten,” de le Gorgendiere added.

Word of the officer’s death prompted an outpouring of support from police unions and officers both in and outside of B.C., as well as other officials.

“Today’s event that unfolded in Burnaby is awful and tragic, the worst news anyone wants to happen,” B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth wrote on Twitter. “Our hearts go out to the Burnaby RCMP officers, family, friends and fellow police officers.”

Burnaby Mayor Mike Hurley also shared his condolences Tuesday, saying his community is “devastated to hear of the death of a Burnaby RCMP member.”

“Our thoughts are with her family, friends, fellow RCMP members and civilian staff during this terrible time,” a tweet reads. “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.”

On a federal level, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined others in sharing his thoughts, saying he was “incredibly saddened” by the death.

“My thoughts are with the family, friends, and colleagues of the fallen officer — I am keeping you in my thoughts during this terrible time,” he wrote on social media.

People in Burnaby were being asked to avoid a major stretch of Canada Way between Boundary Road and Willingdon Avenue as the investigation unfolded Tuesday morning.

Initially, the RCMP referred to what was happening as an “unfolding incident.” It added, “there does not appear to be any ongoing risk to the public.”

Images from Tuesday afternoon showed a large police presence along Canada Way and the surrounding area, with some vehicles blocking traffic.

Various policing and investigative agencies were on scene throughout the day.

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today