According to people in Chilliwack who knew the man who went by Jason Chin, he was kind and polite, a good listener with zero ego.
Chin volunteered, went to church, rode a motorcycle, and was a personal trainer.
“He was a good guy whose message was to make the most of each day and to pay it forward,” according to an acquaintance who asked not to be named.
“I knew the guy who worked hard, was a fantastic personal trainer, a good friend and shining example of living your best life every day.”
But Jason was not Jason and whether he was hiding his past for nefarious reasons or because he truly wanted to start over may never be known.
Yee Hung Chin, 33, who went by Roland, was a prominent member of the FOB gang in Calgary, which was involved in a deadly war with a rival gang that saw 25 killed since 2002.
Chin lived in Chilliwack for about a year until he was killed in a targeted shooting at Kal Tire on Progress Way at 9 a.m. on July 21.
Before coming to town, Chin spent much of the last decade behind bars. Just before moving to Chilliwack, he was released after serving some portion of a seven-year sentence for possession of a loaded weapon.
And that term came about a year after serving a five-year sentence for weapons and drug charges. He was arrested with his brother Roger in 2006 in a Calgary motel room. The two were found with a .45-calibre semiautomatic pistol, a bulletproof vest, $3,800 in cash, ammunition, four cellphones and 15 grams of crack cocaine.
In affirming the original sentence in that file, the Alberta Court of Appeal sent a strong message about the use of loaded guns in the drug trade.
“Sadly, shootings resulting in serious injuries and deaths are now all too common,” the panel said. “Drugs, and money to be made from drug trafficking, are often at the root of such conflicts.”
In between his arrest in 2006 and that appeal court ruling in 2009, Chin’s brother Roger was murdered in a hail of bullets in 2008.
The brothers were part of the FOB gang, which began as a small-scale dial-a-dope operation run by Asian teenagers. The FOB was a reclamation of the immigrant slur “Fresh Off the Boat.” But FOB later came to stand for “Forever Our Brothers.”
Reports out of Calgary in the 2000s are that as the gang grew there was a rift that led to the creation of a rival gang, the FOB Killers, or simply, FK. The battle between the two gangs saw more than two dozen killed.
The Calgary Herald reported this week that several individuals with FK connections are alleged to have ties with the Fraser Valley-based United Nations (UN) gang. Apparently FK members Bill Ly and Troy Tran were named as co-conspirators with the alleged UN plot to murder the Bacon brothers.
As for those who knew Chin in Chilliwack, they are numb and in shock.
“There was absolutely nothing gang member about him, that’s what was so shocking when this happened,” said an acquaintance.
What those who knew him locally did know is that he was “starting over” from something, but they didn’t know what.
“I think he lived with this inevitability every day and was trying to have a positive influence on the people around him while he could.
“I think he showed incredible courage to not live in the shadows given what happened but to be out in the light working his day job, riding his bike, going to church (which is here in Chilliwack), working out, training others and volunteering.
“I am so grateful I knew him because in the short few months that we knew each other, he had a profound influence on my life and even moreso now. I want to pay it forward by being less judgmental, kinder, more grateful, to work harder and the funny thing is, I think everyone here who knew him feels the same.”