Saskatoon

'I don't know how to explain it to my kids': Pain still fresh for family after father of 5 killed

For Tyler Applegate's family, it's been a year of heartbreak. Even as his murder case winds its way through the court process, the pain of the 27-year-old's death a year ago is still fresh.

Witness says Tyler Applegate was shot after confronting someone urinating on his fence

Tyler Applegate was killed in his backyard in 2017 after confronting a person who was urinating on his fence. (Facebook )

For Tyler Applegate's family, it's been a year of heartbreak. Even as his murder case winds its way through the court process, the pain of the 27-year-old's death a year ago is still fresh. 

"I don't know how to explain it to my kids with them understanding it…I can't explain it without seeing them hurt," said Kathy Cardinal, his common law partner with whom Applegate fathered five children. 

Applegate shot after confronting man who was urinating on his fence: witness 

The details of what happened that night have yet to come out in court.

But longtime friend Jay Cook was standing just feet from Applegate when he was shot. Cook says Applegate was confronting a gang member who'd been caught urinating on his backyard fence when the altercation broke out. A short while later, Cook says, one man came back to the yard with a gun and shot Applegate in the stomach. 

"I will never forget that. That's not something you can forget. I was right beside him when he got shot," he said. 

Kathy Cardinal, Tyler Applegate's common law partner, has been left to parent their five children alone. (CBC)

Family and friends gathered on Friday to celebrate Applegate's life. It's been exactly a year since the father of five died in hospital as a result of the gun shot wound he suffered that night. 

 According to his family, Applegate worked as a drywaller, a mechanic and was an all-around handyman. 

His mother says he was such a large part fo the family and he has been missed dearly. 

"It's been really hard. Really really hard. He was definitely the rock of the family, to keep us together," said Margaret Sippola, Applegate's mother. 

Four people charged, one with 2nd-degree murder

In total four people have been charged in relation to Applegate's death. One of those people —​ Dallin Lane Singharath — is charged with second-degree murder and will make his next court appearance on Aug. 14.

In May of this year, police arrested and charged three others in relation to Applegate's death — two men and a woman. All three are facing manslaughter charges, as well as with being an accessory after the fact to the discharge of a firearm while being reckless to the life and safety of another person.

His family says attending the brief court appearances has been extremely difficult. 

But according to his sister, Selina Applegate, they all want one thing. 

"I hope they lock them all up and throw away the key. They took my brother's life," she said. 

About the Author

Charles Hamilton is a reporter with CBC Saskatoon.