Tyler Applegate is being remembered as a fun-loving father who would do anything for his family.
The 27-year-old was taken to hospital after being shot at his home on 33rd Street on July 22. He died Aug. 10, becoming Saskatoon’s third homicide victim of 2017.
Family and friends began his wake Wednesday on an invitation-only basis, many crying as his open casket was brought into the hall.
“A parent shouldn’t have to bury his child,” said Tyler’s father, Jim.
“He was way too young.”
Jim said many were still struggling with how to reconcile Applegate’s death, but he tried to keep things light with stories of his son’s life.
“He was always wheeling and dealing, just like his old man,” Jim said, smiling.
“If I had a truck he liked, he would bug me until we made a deal.”
Dozens attended the wake ceremony, as a traditional smudging and drum circle was held to honour Applegate’s life.
His wife, Kathy Cardinal, collapsed into tears after helping their five children pay respects. She sat hugging them tight as others passed, offering their condolences.
Thomas Bear, a close friend of Applegate’s, was concerned for the family.
“They’re so young. What are they going to do now?” he asked.
“He was really close with his children.”
Pictures at the service showed Applegate helping his family build a gingerbread house for Christmas, while the cover of the funeral guide featured him carrying his youngest son on his shoulders.
“He was the kind of guy who would give you his shirt of his back if you needed it,” Bear said.
“He didn’t deserve what he got … It’s heart-breaking.”
The situation surrounding Applegate’s death is still unclear. Bear and others told 650 CKOM there have been several rumours, but they don’t know who killed the father of five.
Saskatoon police have said they don’t believe Applegate knew his attackers. At the time of the shooting, they said a black truck with several men inside was seen driving away down the alley behind Applegate’s home shortly after the incident.
His cousin-in-law, Roserita Sutherland, had a message for whoever shot Applegate.
“Just turn yourself in,” she said. “Have some conscience. All we want is justice.”
A private funeral will be held for Applegate Friday.