Security guard killed at UBC Okanagan had hoped to attend as a student one day

Two weeks ago, a security guard working at UBC Okanagan was brutally attacked and killed.

That security guard was 24-year-old Harmandeep Kaur. Kaur came to Canada in 2015 from Punjab, India, with the hopes of attending university and eventually becoming a paramedic, according to a post from her family on a new GoFundMe to help her family pay for travel, funeral expenses and potential legal costs.

Kaur attended Columbia College in Vancouver while working to pay for her education. She moved to Kelowna in 2018 and joined Paladin Security as a security guard in September 2021. According to an email sent out by Paladin Security, her colleagues and patrons at UBC Okanagan remember her fondly as a bright team player with a burst of positive energy. Paladin said Kaur hoped to attend UBC Okanagan as a student one day.

After years of working hard to build a space for herself in Canada, Kaur finally received her permanent residency in January 2022. She was looking forward to having her parents visit her in April of this year, according to a blurb on her GoFundMe.

The fundraiser has helped Kaur’s family raise over $73,000.

On March 3, 2022, Lesley Cormack, deputy vice-chancellor and principal at UBC Okanagan released a statement expressing sorrow for the victim’s family. Cormack commended first responders who showed remarkable professionalism at the scene and went on to share the GoFundMe fundraiser.

On March 4, 2022, the university held a vigil and lowered flags on campus in memory of the victim.

While the context of the attack is still unknown, Cormack stated that the university and RCMP are at the “beginning of a period of deep introspection and review.”

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

The statement also included that the university and RCMP believe the incident to be isolated and the safety of students and staff on campus is not at risk.