Edmonton police officer mourned by loved ones in Nova Scotia
Paul Cyr and Brodie Sampson never imagined their best friend of 20 years would die in the line of the duty.
"Me and Brodie just started crying immediately," Cyr said in an interview about receiving the news that Edmonton police Const. Travis Jordan had been killed. He and Const. Brett Ryan were fatally shot Thursday while responding to a family dispute at an apartment complex in northwest Edmonton.
"He was always the superman of our close group of friends," Sampson said.
"Travis has always been my personal hero, but now he's a hero for all Canadians and he will forever remain in our hearts."
The three men were part of a close-knit friend group who grew up and spent their youth in Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley.
Having been close friends since they were children, the two men describe Jordan as being a man who had the utmost character and persevered in the face of adversity.
"His positive spirit was beyond contagious. Travis was never fearful, not even while on duty," Sampson said.
"Travis and Brett responded so that nobody else had to. They have given more than any of us have right to ask. They did so without complaint, or malice and with a full heart."
Both Jordan and Cyr became closer as they aspired to go into law enforcement and become RCMP officers.
Cyr was unable to do so because of difficulty recognizing colours. Jordan's path in life shifted to become an officer with Edmonton Police Services.
"He went to Holland College and left Saint Mary's [University] and busted his butt and I support the heck out of him and he eventually ended up landing in a job in Edmonton."
Edmonton police Deputy Chief Devin Laforce said Friday that police got a call about a non-violent domestic dispute where a mother was having trouble with her 16 year-old son.
Laforce said nothing suggested the call would be dangerous or require a high-threat response, but says police had previously visited the apartment for what was categorized as a mental health complaint. Jordan and Ryan were shot by the teen shortly after they arrived and before they had a chance to fire their weapons. Afterwards the suspect shot his mother then himself.
On Sunday, Edmonton police said an autopsy confirmed the cause of death was gunshot wounds and the manner of death was homicide for the two officers. The suspect's mother remains in hospital in serious but stable condition.
The suddenness of the attack is a reality both Sampson and Cyr have difficulty reconciling with.
"The fact that he just never had a chance, he never saw it coming and I think that is the thing that's etched in our heads the hardest," Cyr said.
While funeral arrangements have yet to be determined, Cyr and Sampson, along with other friends and family will travel to Edmonton next weekend in anticipation of the gathering.
Alberta Premier Danielle Smith says the families of the two officers will each receive $100,000 from the province's Heroes' Fund.
Smith made the announcement Saturday during her weekly radio program while addressing the deaths of Jordan and Ryan.
The province's website says the Heroes' Fund is open to the families of police officers, firefighters, paramedics, sheriffs and provincial correction officers. It says eligibility is determined by the Workers' Compensation Board, which it says will identify eligible families using its fatality claim process and administer the funds accordingly.
It notes that between 2010 and 2019, there were 106 first responder deaths in Alberta. It also says the federal Memorial Grant Program for First Responders provides a one-time payment of up to $300,000 to families of first responders who die while on duty.