News

The Victims of Canada's Deadliest Mass Shooting

At least 19 people, including an RCMP officer, a teacher, and two health care workers, were killed in a mass shooting spree over the weekend in Nova Scotia.
April 20, 2020, 6:07pm
Nova Scotia shooting victims include RCMP veteran Const. Heidi Stevenson, left, and schoolteacher Lisa McCully, right.
Nova Scotia shooting victims include RCMP veteran Const. Heidi Stevenson, left, and schoolteacher Lisa McCully, right.

This article originally appeared on VICE Canada.

A Nova Scotia man who went on a shooting spree Saturday night and well into Sunday has killed at least 19 people.

The rampage marks the worst mass murder in modern Canadian history.

The victims include RCMP veteran Const. Heidi Stevenson, an elementary school teacher, and two health care workers.

If you'd like to share a story about a loved one who was killed in the Nova Scotia shootings, contact Manisha Krishnan by email at manisha.krishnan@vice.com or Anya Zoledziowski at anya.zoledziowski@vice.com.

Speaking to Canadians Monday morning, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described the shooting as an act of “senseless violence” that took place in small towns, where people look out for each other.

“These communities are in mourning and Canada is in mourning with them,” Trudeau said. “We are so sorry for your loss. Such a tragedy should have never occurred. Violence of any kind has no place in Canada.”

Here’s what we've learned about the victims so far. This list will be updated.

Heidi Stevenson

Heidi Stevenson. Photo courtesy of RCMP

Const. Heidi Stevenson, a 23-year veteran with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), was one of the first victims identified following the deadly shooting spree in Nova Scotia. She was responding to the active shooter when she died, but the circumstances of her death have not been confirmed yet.

“She died protecting others,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday. “She was answering the call of duty—something she had done every day she went to work for 23 years.”

Stevenson, who is originally from Nova Scotia, was a wife and mother of two children, ages 10 and 13. Her husband, Dean Stevenson, teaches at a Halifax-area high school, according to the Globe and Mail.

“There are no words to describe their pain,” Nova Scotia Commanding Officer Lee Bergerman told reporters on Sunday. “Two children have lost their mother and a husband has lost his wife. Parents have lost their daughter and countless others lost an incredible friend and colleague.”

Lisa McCully

Lisa McCully. Photo via Facebook

Lisa McCully was a mother of two young girls and a third and fourth grade teacher at Debert Elementary School.

Her sister, Jenny Kierstead, wrote in a Facebook post Sunday, “This is so hard to write but many of you will want to know. Our hearts are broken today as we attempt to accept the loss of my sister, Lisa McCully, who was one of the victims of the mass shooting in Portapique last night (Saturday).”

Last month, McCully posted a video to Facebook of her and two young kids singing “Tonight You Belong to Me.”

“Here’s a little goodnight song to all our family and friends. We miss you,” McCully says in the video as she plays the ukulele.

Paul Wozney, the president of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union, said in a statement posted to Facebook on Sunday, “9300 NSTU hearts are broken along with those of her colleagues and students at Debert Elementary, as well as her family and friends who knew her not only as a passionate teacher but as a shining love in their lives.”

Heather O'Brien

Heather O’Brien is a wife, mother, grandmother, and nurse. She worked as a licensed practical nurse with the Victorian Order of Nurses team for about 17 years.

“She shared her deep caring of others,” said VON president, Jo-Anne Poirier, in a statement released Monday.

O’Brien’s daughter confirmed the death in a Facebook post Sunday: “A monster murdered my mother,” said her daughter, Darcy Dobson, adding that by 10:15 p.m. Saturday, her mother was gone. In the post, Dobson said she wants her mother to be remembered for her kindness, her passion for her career as a nurse, and “the way her eyes sparkled when she talked to her grandchildren.”

Kristen Beaton

Kristen Beaton was a continuing-care assistant for the Victorian Order of Nurses for more than five years.

According to the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU), Beaton dedicated her life to caring for the province’s most vulnerable. “She was killed on the job, doing this critical work during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the NSGEU said in a statement on Monday. “In the aftermath of her loss, her husband has asked us all to use our voices to advocate for proper protections and equipment for all of the coworkers who remain on the job during this crisis.”

Her husband Nick Beaton posted on Facebook Monday morning, “She cried (every day) before and (every day) after work scared to bring this covid home to her son she loved more than I could even imagine anyone could love one person.”

He goes on to say that she was doing a job she truly loved. “So please for Kristen’s sake protect the ones who are protecting us,” he said.

This article originally appeared on VICE CA.