Marlene Thistle was stopped at the side of the road outside Quesnel when she learned by phone that her daughter, Janice Nicole Bryant, had been killed in East Vancouver on Tuesday.
Bryant, 33 and a mother of one daughter, was shot outside her home near East 7th Avenue and St. Catherines Street at around 5 p.m. Police have said little about the attack apart from stating they believed Bryant had been targeted. They had no further information to offer Thursday.
It wasn’t cops who called Thistle with news of the shooting, though she said they had her number. Rather, it was Thistle’s son who told her.
Thistle isn’t pleased about what others have said about her daughter in previous media reports and wished to describe Bryant’s home life and the relationships between some of the family members. She also had a message for those who may have killed her daughter.
Bryant had been happily married to her husband for a year-and-a-half. They had known each other for 18 years, she said.
“While he may have been involved in activities that ultimately put Janice in danger, he loved her and supported her,” Thistle said.
That love went both ways.
“Her love for (her husband) kept her beside him as he tried to walk away from his past and his past wouldn’t let him,” she said.
Bryant’s husband’s business dealings were kept separate from his home life, and the two never mixed, Thistle said. Bryant herself had never been in trouble with police, she added.
Bryant’s immediate family members all lived in Vancouver and she regularly spoke to her mother by phone, text or in person. “She came for Sunday dinners, we had evenings where we watched UFC fights or we went bowling as a family,” Thistle said.
“She had a big heart and was accepting of everyone — always focusing on the positive and not the negative. That part of her character meant that even if others were troubled, she only saw the good in them,” Thistle said.
Bryant and her husband have one daughter, a promising young hockey player who lives outside of B.C.
Thistle described the relationship between daughter and father as “110-per-cent good.” While he isn’t a full-time father, he has been a supportive part of her life, she said.
Thistle said Bryant had been devoted to making sure her daughter had the opportunities and support that she needed to thrive in education and “to obtain a better life than Janice felt she had.”
“I want her to read (in) a (news)paper or hear from other people that her mom was awesome. Her mom was great,” Thistle said through tears. “I just want the people out there who are hurting families like this … to understand they’re not just hurting one person. They’re hurting over a hundred people in one family.
“The violence has to stop.”
She asked people to respect the family as they mourned.
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