Certified GKH Gardening Expert
There won't be any way to nail down the Genus or the species, since yews span several.
Usually, the most common Yew used will be Taxus baccata.
Unfortunately, damage like this can occur from many things. Typically, this is caused by damage to the trunk (like being nicked while doing yard maintenance). It can also be caused by weather fluctuation. Removing the dead growth is appropriate, but other than that they will heal on their own.
Here is an article that will help you with the care of the shrub: