Yin Yin Din was planning a visit to Myanmar with her family in December.
It has been 30 years since the three brothers and three sisters set foot in the country they were born in and they wanted to catch up with old friends and family.
However, those plans were cut short Sunday afternoon when her older brother, Kyaw Naing Din, 54, was shot and killed in a police involved shooting at the home they rent in Maple Ridge.
Yin Yin described her brother as a kind gentleman, who, at home, would do all the housework, including cooking, laundry and taking the garbage out. He also had a little dog that he would take care of.
When he would see older women begging on the street, he would ask his sister to give them money because they reminded him of his mother who passed away in 2017.
“He was calm, he was sitting in his room, not even making a sound. This is senseless,” said Kyaw’s sister in the kitchen of the bungalow they rent along Colemore Street.
Yin Yin said they called the police, something they have done many times in the past because her brother was acting confused and needed his medication.
Doctors say Kyaw has schizophrenia, but Yin Yin doesn’t believe it, although he was taking the drug Olanzapine, that is used to treat mental conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and, if used in combination with other medications, depression.
“The police in this area knew my brother very well,” said Yin Yin. She said that whenever the police would show up, Kyaw would come out of his room and go with them to the hospital. Sometimes, Yin Yin said, he would even call 911 by himself and tell Yin Yin that he was going to the hospital because he was not feeling well.
She explained to the two members that arrived at her house that she wanted them to take him to Ridge Meadows Hospital.
But Kyaw was sitting peacefully in his room and he told her that he did not want to go to the hospital at that moment.
Yin Yin said that when she looked into the room he was filling a bottle with sugar.
Yin Yin said she was then told by the responding officers that they didn’t have to get involved because Kyaw was not harming anybody and that they would call for an ambulance.
Two paramedics showed up at the house and then the police officers asked Yin Yin what language her brother spoke. Yin Yin replied Burmese, but she said, don’t worry, she is always translating for her brother.
Yin Yin said there was no more talk about a translator and that instead, in about five minutes, two more police officers showed up at her door.
Yin Yin says she told the officers not to open the door and that he didn’t wan’t to go to the hospital just yet.
“I don’t want police to shoot him, I’m worried, you know,” said Yin Yin. She said she warned the officers that he might throw a bottle at them and she didn’t want anyone to get hurt. She said she also told them that her older sister and brother were on her way to the house and that they would be there in 10 minutes.
The officers assured Yin Yin that they deal with people with mental issues all the time and that they would not shoot him.
Yin Yin said, they opened the bedroom door and pushed her back so that she was standing behind the police in the narrow hallway that led to her brother’s room.
Yin Yin says she saw a little bit of the Taser light and then she heard three bangs right away.
“Immediately they shot. So it is not true they say there is a knife in his hand. Not true,” said Yin Yin, although she said, he might have had a peeling knife to cut fruit with in his room, but that she did not see it.
A statement from BC RCMP said there were three people in the residence, one of which had a knife.
“During the course of the interaction, conducted energy weapon was deployed but was not successful and another police officer fired their gun,” said Dawn Roberts, B.C. RCMP communications director.
“The Independent Investigations Office is investigating to determine whether police actions or inactions are linked to the man’s death,” Roberts added.
Yin Yin said the police pushed her outside the house.
She called a lawyer right away.
Kyaw Naing Din’s body is undergoing an autopsy and the coroner told Yin Yin that his body should be released by Wednesday.
She is planning to bury him by his parents at Ocean View Burial Park in Burnaby.