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Flags to be lowered, vigil held at UBC Okanagan Friday for slain security guard

Click to play video: 'Family of UBCO security guard ‘devastated’ by her death' Family of UBCO security guard ‘devastated’ by her death
WATCH: The family of a young woman who was killed at UBC Okanagan says they are ‘just devastated.’ Harmandeep Kaur was working as a security guard at UBCO when she was assaulted by a man who also worked at the university, and she later died in hospital. – Mar 1, 2022

UBC Okanagan will hold a vigil Friday for the young woman who was killed at the Kelowna campus last weekend while working an early morning shift as a security guard.

Harmandeep Kaur will be remembered on March 4, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., in front of the University Centre and all are invited to attend.

“A book of condolence will be available to sign and support services from across campus will be available with additional resources,” reads the announcement from the university.

Read more: Community mourns slain UBC Okanagan security guard who recently became permanent resident

Flags on the UBC Okanagan campus will also be lowered on Friday, March 4 in memory of the 24-year-old who’d only recently become a permanent resident of Canada.

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Lesley Cormack, the university’s deputy vice-chancellor and principal, said in a statement that the university is also being moved to look at its protocols, acknowledging that many have questions surrounding the attack and the university’s administration are at the beginning of a period of “deep introspection and review.”

Click to play video: 'Vigil held at UBC Okanagan for security guard' Vigil held at UBC Okanagan for security guard
Vigil held at UBC Okanagan for security guard – Mar 4, 2022

WATCH:Hundreds of people gathered at UBC Okanagan to pay their respects to Harmandeep Kaur, the 24-year-old security guard who was savagely attacked at work and died from her injuries. Jules Knox reports.

“While the RCMP’s criminal investigation is underway and must continue unencumbered, a WorkSafeBC incident investigation is also taking place,” Cormack said.

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“As a multi-employer workplace, UBCO will be working very closely with Best Service Pro, our janitorial service provider, and Paladin Security, the victim’s employer, to review our collective processes.”

It’s believed that the security guard’s alleged attacker worked for Best Service Pro. He was taken into custody under the Mental Health Act shortly after the fatal assault on Feb. 26.

Charges have yet to be laid.

Click to play video: 'UBCO student raises concerns about university’s handling of sexual assault report' UBCO student raises concerns about university’s handling of sexual assault report
UBCO student raises concerns about university’s handling of sexual assault report – Dec 20, 2021

“We have been in constant contact with the RCMP, who have assured us that this event was isolated and that there is no ongoing threat or risk to our campus community,” Cormack said.

“We are also very sensitive to the fact that there have been several police incidents in recent months in neighbourhoods adjacent to campus. I am confident that these are unrelated matters, but we will work closely with our community partners and neighbours to ensure that a trend does not emerge.”

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Read more: ‘Just devastated’: Family grieving woman killed at UBC Okanagan

Cormack also pointed out that there were many services available to those who need them for safety or for health and well being and they can be found on the website.

“We always strive to learn from experience and do better, so we will look to enhance and expand our services in the weeks to come based on input from our community,” Cormack said.

“It will take time to process what has happened and to come to terms with what it means for our campus—we will need to be patient and caring as we heal together. In this period of stress and sorrow, I urge everyone to be kind not only to those around you, but also to yourselves. From our custodial staff to security personnel to students, faculty and staff — we all feel this loss and have a role to play in supporting each other.”

 

Click to play video: 'One man in custody after weapons report and woman injured near UBCO' One man in custody after weapons report and woman injured near UBCO
One man in custody after weapons report and woman injured near UBCO – Sep 23, 2021

Paladin Security also released a statement on Thursday, offering better insight into the young woman’s personality and professional life.

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“Harmandeep Kaur was an incredibly compassionate and friendly person,” Shane Wright, Paladin’s executive vice president said in a statement.

He said she started working for the company in September of 2021, after coming to Canada in 2015 with the dream of furthering her education by attending university and eventually becoming a paramedic.

“Like many aspiring paramedics who have a passion for helping others, Harmandeep chose to join the Paladin family and we will be working with the family to honour that decision into the future,” Wright said.

Read more: Security guard at UBC Okanagan killed; RCMP investigate homicide

“While on patrols at UBCO, she would enter the residence’s common areas to say hello to patrons even when not required,” Wright said. “This has led to many students and campus community members remembering her fondly as a kind soul.”

Harmandeep had a natural ability to make everyone’s day brighter, he said, and had a smile on her face at all times, no matter the situation.

“After recently receiving her permanent residency, Harmandeep brought candies to work at UBCO to celebrate with her colleagues,” Wright wrote. “Her team described her in high regard by stating that it was an honour to have known her.”

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Both referenced a GoFundMe campaign that’s grown significantly in recent days to support Kaur’s family.

As of Friday afternoon, contributions to the fund had more than doubled the goal of $25,000.

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