Canada Shooting Virtual Vigil For Victims Due To Covid-19


Canada Shooting Virtual Vigil For Victims Due To Covid-19

A national virtual vigil will be held this week to honour the victims of Canada’s deadliest shooting, which unfolded in Nova Scotia as the province was locked-down due to coronavirus.

Virus restrictions continue and authorities said they would not be lifted to allow public gatherings to mourn victims.

At least 18 people were shot dead by a gunman during a 12-hour weekend rampage.

The gunman was killed by police.

Who were the victims?

In the weeks leading up to her death, Heather O’Brien was busy caring for the elderly during the provincial-wide lockdown.

“First day off after 6 back tomorrow. First day I allowed myself to relax an inch,” she wrote on her Facebook page on 9 April.

“My small space in life is marching on. I know atm [at the moment] all I love and cherish are ok. I am truly blessed.”

Ten days later, Ms O’Brien would be killed near her hometown of Debert, Nova Scotia when a gunman disguised as a policeman killed at least 18 people, burning several buildings before dying in a shoot-out with police.

Ms O’Brien’s daughter Darcy Dobson said on Facebook that “a monster” murdered her mother.

“The pain comes and goes in waves. I feel like I’m outside of my own body. This can’t be real. At 9:59 am she sent her last text message to our family group chat. By 10:15 she was gone,” she wrote Sunday evening, about ten hours after her mother was killed.

Ms Dobson said she wants “everyone to remember how kind she was” and how much she loved being a nurse and a grandmother, not “the horrible way that she died”.

Ms O’Brien had continued to work on the front lines during the Covid-19 pandemic, as a home-care nurse with the non-profit Victorian Order of Nurses (VON), with whom she had been employed for 17 years. Another VON employee, Kristen Beaton, was also killed during the shooting.

Ms Beaton, worked for VON as a continuing care assistant and had been on the job when she was killed, according to her neighbour Penny Marchbank.

She was married and had a young child.

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“Kristen Beaton however will live on with all of the wonderful things she has done in her short lifetime and the thousands of lives she has effected in so many loving and wonderful ways,” her neighbour said on Facebook.

VON president and CEO Jo-Anne Poirier told the BBC: “All of our frontline care providers are heroes. Yesterday, two of those heroes, Heather O’Brien and Kristen Beaton, were taken from their families, and from VON. We mourn their loss, and we mourn for their families”.

Constable Heidi Stevenson, who had served in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police force for 23 years, was on duty when she was killed.

Canada Shooting Virtual Vigil For Victims Due To Covid-19


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