Members of Airdrie's first responder community, including members of the Airdrie RCMP detachment, will be attending the Regimental Funeral for two Edmonton Police officers who were killed in the line of duty earlier this month.
The funeral of Constables Travis Jordan and Brett Ryan is being held today at 1:00 p.m. (MST) at Rogers Place in Edmonton.
Both families of the slain officers released written statements about the tragic deaths of their family members. Cst. Ryan's family thanked the public for the outpouring of support they received, adding that grieving the sudden loss of a beloved family member was ineffable.
"Brett was a husband, a son, a brother, an uncle, and a father-to-be. He was a multi-talented individual, dedicated friend, respected colleague, active community member and volunteer, and compassionate first responder whose calling was to help those in need. His absence is profound, and we, along with his brothers and sisters in blue, will miss him," the statement in part read.
The constable's extended family, including his cousin, Crossfield resident, Charlotte Blackwell previously spoke to Discover Airdrie about the heart-wrenching news.
"This is my cousin's youngest son and I just...I can't imagine what she's going through, and what his wife is going through," she said. "It's heart-wrenching. I'm heartbroken for them all," she said.
Since hearing the news, Blackwell, who owns the Donut Man in Crossfield, wanted to honour both fallen officers by dedicating donuts with blue ribbons in their honour. All proceeds from the sales are going towards a GoFundMe campaign. According to the campaign's page, the Edmonton Police Foundation, in partnership with the Edmonton Police Association, is raising funds for the families of its fallen members. Thus far, over $400,000 has been raised.
The family of Cst. Travis Jordan also released a statement, expressing their appreciation for the public and their support.
"We are beyond words as we continue to grieve this unspeakable loss. Travis' sense of adventure was boundless and led him to a life well-lived. He was a son, a husband, a brother, and a loyal friend. He was passionate about giving back to his communities, and his willingness to help was limitless—all the makings of a great police officer and an even greater human being," the statement read in part.
According to the Edmonton Police Service, access to Rogers Place for the funeral will be limited to family, special guests, EPS members and supporters from within law enforcement, emergency services and military communities.
"The public is invited to pay their respects along the procession route and attend a live stream in the Ice District Plaza," EPS stated. "The public is invited to participate in the regimental funeral by attending a public viewing in the Ice District Plaza."
No backpacks, briefcases, or other large items will be permitted during the event and road closures will be in effect and parking in the area is limited. The City of Edmonton may make additional viewing areas available; details will be shared once they are finalized. The live stream of the funeral will also be aired on the EPS YouTube channel.
Rogers Place, on its website, stated that prior to the regimental funeral, a processional will begin at 11:45 a.m. starting at the Alberta Legislature and going to Rogers Place.
"Members of the public have the opportunity to pay their respects along the procession route."
An autopsy was carried out on March 18 by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Edmonton, which found that both constables' deaths were confirmed to be gunshot wounds and ruled the deaths as homicides. The two constables were shot and killed in the early morning hours on March 16 when responding to a family dispute in Edmonton.
According to police, when the two officers arrived at an apartment complex in the early morning hours, they were met by a 55-year-old female complainant outside of the complex. The two officers then responded to the suite where she resided, along with her 73-year-old male partner and their 16-year-old son.
"Immediately upon arriving at the suite, both constables were shot by the 16-year-old male and were immediately incapacitated. A struggle reportedly ensued between the mother and son over the firearm, and the mother was shot," a previous press release stated. "The suspect then turned the firearm on himself, taking his own life. The father was not physically injured during the shootings."
It has since been confirmed that neither officer discharged their firearm.
Cst. Ryan, 30, had 5.5 years of service, while Cst. Jordan had 8.5 years of service with EPS.
Six other police officers have died across Canada in the past six months, with five being killed in Ontario and one in British Columbia.
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