Kelly Geraldine Malone and Emily Blake, The Canadian Press
Posted on Thursday, March 16, 2023 at 6:58 pm EDT
One of the slain Edmonton police officers was about to become a father for the first time and the other was dubbed a “snow angel” for going above and beyond the call of duty to help people.
Const. Brett Ryan, 30, and Const. Travis Jordan, 35, was fatally shot in response to a domestic violence call early Thursday morning.
Ryan, who had been with the Edmonton force for five and a half years, is remembered as a longtime pillar of the community and minor hockey umpire.
Darcy Carter of the Spruce Grove Minor Hockey Association said Ryan and his wife are expecting their first child.
“I was with him as he grew up as a civil servant and became a person and a husband,” Carter said.
Ryan, who lived in Spruce Grove, just west of Edmonton, was always willing to give back, helping younger hockey officials develop their skills, Carter said. The official was also active in the slow pitch community.
Ryan was a paramedic before becoming a police officer, Carter said, adding that his friend was passionate about his job and his duty to serve the community.
“That’s something I’ll never forget… His face just lit up when he talked about his work,” Carter said.
The Alberta Paramedics Association said Ryan served as a paramedic at Medavie Health Services in Saddle Lake, Alta., from 2012 to 2015.
“Throughout his career, helping others was at the center of all his duties,” read a statement from the association.
Ryan is survived by his wife Ashley Ryan, who is a paramedic, he said.
Garett Ryan wrote on Twitter that he is proud of his brother.
“Words cannot describe how much I love my big brother,” she wrote. “I am very proud of him, of his achievements and of the man he has become. I will always miss him.”
Jordan had been with the Edmonton force for 8 1/2 years.
He grew up in Nova Scotia and his family still lives in the province. The Nova Scotia RCMP organized a memorial procession, which also included numerous officers from the Kentville Police Service and military police, to drive through Coldbrook to honor the officer and his family on Thursday afternoon.
Jessica Shmigelsky recalled that Jordan was calm and kind when he really needed to see the goodness in people. She said her family gave her permission to talk about the experience.
Shmigelsky’s day was going terribly when he met Jordan in Edmonton in 2020. There was a heavy spring snowfall, his snow brush broke, and he was having a rough day at work.
Jordan pulled her over for having too much snow on her vehicle, she said, but instead of giving her a ticket, she grabbed her own snow brush and proceeded to clean her car.
“It was a very joyous interaction. It wasn’t what she expected it to be,” she said, adding that it was like talking to an older brother.
He did not get the officer’s name at the time, but he posted about the encounter online, where he was quickly nicknamed “snow angel.” Jordan’s sister in Nova Scotia saw the post and connected the officer and Shmigelsky.
Jordan asked to meet with Shmigelsky and gave him a new snow brush. It’s the one he still uses.
“He did his job and he did more than what his job actually entailed.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on March 16, 2023.