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'She was so loved': Family of slain B.C. RCMP constable shares statement

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Slain B.C. RCMP officer Shaelyn Yang is being remembered by her grieving family as someone who was joyful, thoughtful and community-minded.

The family shared what they said would be their only statement on Yang's death Thursday, describing the Burnaby RCMP constable as having been "born with the gift of supporting and empowering others."

She died last week during an altercation in a local park, where she had been called in her capacity as a member of her detachment's mental health and homeless outreach team. Yang was 31.

"As her family, we thank Shaelyn for giving all of herself in making this world a better place. May she rest in peace knowing she was so loved," her family wrote in their statement, which was shared by the RCMP. 

Yang moved to Canada from Taiwan at a young age, and was raised in the Vancouver area. Her family said she was "fond of the land where she grew up," and "very involved in her community."

Yang spent years volunteering with the RCMP's victim services unit in her home city of Richmond before deciding to go through the training required to become a constable – something her family described as a dream come true for her.

"Shaelyn was gentle yet brave, compassionate yet courageous," they wrote. “Shaelyn loved her career with the RCMP. In hindsight, she was preparing for this role her entire life.”

The family, whose names were not attached to the statement, also gave thanks to everyone who has offered condolences during what they described as a period of "immense grief," and to Yang's colleagues at the RCMP.

The force is preparing a regimental funeral for the fallen constable on Nov. 2 at 11 a.m. at the Olympic Oval in Richmond.

The service will not be open to the public but will be broadcast live for those who wish to pay their respects. 

Read the full statement from Yang's family below: 

Constable Shaelyn Yang moved to Canada from Taiwan at a young age. She was raised and educated in the Greater Vancouver area. She was fond of the land where she grew up and was very involved in her community as it shaped her upbringing.

Shaelyn was gentle yet brave, compassionate yet courageous; and she was born with the gift of supporting and empowering others. She brought with her laughter and joy wherever she went. She loved her family and friends immensely and even though her family and friends are situated in multiple countries, she was always there for everyone near and dear to her heart. Her thoughtfulness made us feel like we were always together.

Shaelyn loved her career with the RCMP. In hindsight, she was preparing for this role her entire life. At five years old, she started training in Taekwondo and later on, she took up Kendo and Brazilian Jiujitsu. Through volunteering as an RCMP Victim Services worker, Shaelyn was inspired to become a member of the RCMP. After intense training at the RCMP Depot Academy, her dream came true and she was sworn in as an RCMP officer. Shaelyn was so proud of her uniform. She made the ultimate sacrifice to this work that she loved. This is extremely heartbreaking, she devoted her life to helping others, which is something she strived for, and we are so proud. As her family, we thank Shaelyn for giving all of herself in making this world a better place. May she rest in peace knowing she was so loved.

We would like to thank everyone for their condolences. There has been an outpouring of support from extended family, friends and the public. We hear you and we thank you for your thoughts and kind words. We have sincere gratitude to Shaelyn’s RCMP colleagues for the support and friendships formed throughout her service – a lifelong gift to her that she treasured. We would also like to thank the RCMP for their thoughtfulness, support, and considerate arrangements during this difficult time and as the Force formally honours her passing. We are sincerely grateful for the RCMP, Shaelyn’s friends and colleagues, and the general public for their support.

Lastly, as our family is going through immense grief, we will not be participating in any media interviews. This written statement will be the only public release from Shaelyn’s family.

Thank you.

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