Father-to-be and ‘snow angel’: Edmonton officers shot and killed on duty remembered

The officers were killed when they responded to a domestic dispute

By Kelly Geraldine Malone and Emily Blake

One of the police officers killed in Edmonton was about to be a father and the other was called a “snow angel” for going beyond the call of duty to help people.

Const. Brett Ryan, 30, and Const. Travis Jordan, 35, were shot and killed responding to a domestic violence call Thursday morning.

Ryan, who had been with the Edmonton force for 5 1/2 years, is being remembered as a pillar of the community and a longtime minor hockey referee. Darcy Carter, with the Spruce Grove Minor Hockey Association, said Ryan and his wife are expecting a child.

“I was alongside him growing up as he grew as an official and grew into 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 officer was also active in the slow pitch community.

Ryan was a paramedic before he became a police officer, Carter said, adding the officer was passionate about his work and his duty to serve the community. 

“That’s something that I’ll never forget … just his face lighting up when he talked about his job,” Carter said. 

Jordan had been with the Edmonton force for 8 1/2 years.

Jessica Shmigelsky remembered the officer as being calm and kind when she really needed to see the goodness in people. She said Jordan’s family gave her permission to speak about the experience.

Shmigelsky’s day was going terribly when she met Jordan in 2020. There had been a heavy spring snowfall, her snow brush was broken and she was having a difficult day at work. 

Jordan pulled her over, she said, but instead of giving her a ticket he pulled out his own snow brush and proceeded to clean off her car. 

“It was a very lighthearted interaction. It wasn’t what I was expecting it to be,” she said, adding it was like talking with a big brother.

She didn’t get the officer’s name at the time but posted about the encounter online, where he quickly was nicknamed a “snow angel.” Jordan’s sister in Nova Scotia saw the post and connected the officer and Shmigelsky. 

Jordan asked to meet up and Shmigelsky said he gave her a brand new snow brush. It’s the one she still uses. 

“He did his job and he did more than what his job really entailed.”

Banner image: Edmonton Police Const. Travis Jordan, left, and Const. Brett Ryan are seen in a composite image made from two undated handout photos. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Edmonton Police Service

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 16, 2023.