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'Honour her memory': Prince Rupert mourning woman shot to death in murder-suicide

"We really want to honour her memory."

The family of a Prince Rupert woman slain in a murder-suicide Monday are identifying her ex-fiancé as the suspect.

Patricia “Patty” Forman, 52, was gunned down inside the Ocean Centre Mall at 8:30 a.m. Monday morning. Police say the 44-year-old man shot her before turning the gun on himself. He later died in hospital.

The man, whose family identified to Glacier Media as Shawn Yeung, is believed to have been a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) employee. 

In a phone call, the family said Yeung was a father, and they’re grieving his loss.

Forman’s Facebook page and a verified GoFundMe fundraiser are filled with tributes to her, recalling her as a Ministry of Children and Family Development worker and a well-known singer and performer heavily involved in the Prince Rupert arts community.

“It’s with the heaviest of hearts to announce my mother, my best friend, my teacher and my everything Patty Forman has been shot dead in a murder-suicide from her ex-fiancé,” writes Forman’s son, Joshua, on Facebook.

In Prince Rupert, the Lester Centre of the Arts has projected a single ‘tragedy’ mask with a teardrop on the side of its building in tribute to Forman. 

Manager Chris Armstrong explains that the gesture is a reflection of the sorrow being felt in the community. 

“We really want to honour her memory,” he says, noting the building is the first thing many people see when entering the town.

"She performed in many musicals here,” says Armstrong. “We have a community musical that happens every two years. It's a pretty big deal for this community. She was in most of them, I think, going back all the way to, like, 2004.”

In a joint statement, B.C.’s Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth and the premier’s office offered their support to Forman’s family and the Prince Rupert community.

“Our hearts also go out to those who acted immediately to provide emergency care, those who may have witnessed this violence and anyone whose safety was threatened by yesterday’s events. We are here for you, and we will be in the days, weeks and months to come,” reads the statement.

Investigation continues

The investigation into the shooting is still ongoing, with RCMP working closely with several partner agencies and a trauma support team to determine what took place. 

The RCMP says “they are not in [a] position” to reveal if the gun used was a service weapon administered by the CBSA.

Canada’s Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino did not respond to an interview request by the time of publishing. 

Prince Rupert residents in need can call a dedicated support line at 250-627-7779 or Victim Link BC at 1-800-563-0808.

If you or someone you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide, help is available. 

  • In an emergency, call 9-1-1
  • In a crisis, call 1-800-784-2433
  • In need of support, call 310-6789 (no area code needed)

You can find a full list of resources on the B.C. government’s website.

A tribute created using a projector to remember a Prince Rupert woman at the Lester Centre of the Arts on Nov. 23. Lester Centre of the Arts