HALIFAX (NEWS 1130) – The RCMP officer killed while responding to a mass shooting in Nova Scotia this weekend is being remembered for her dedication.
Cst. Heidi Stevenson was a 23-year veteran of the force. The mother of two was kill on Sunday while responding to the shooting, which left at least 17 people dead and another officer hurt.
“Today is a devastating day for Nova Scotia and it will remain etched in the minds of many, for years to come,” Nova Scotia RCMP Commanding Officer, Assistant Commissioner Lee Bergerman said on Sunday. “What has unfolded overnight and into this morning is incomprehensible and many families are experiencing the loss of a loved one.”
This is @RCMPNS Cst. Heidi Stevenson. "Heidi answered the call of duty and lost her life while protecting those she served." A 23-year member, she leaves behind her husband and two children and many others.
Take a moment to thank/show your appreciation to our first responders. pic.twitter.com/MZ7mBqZ8jD
— Sonia Aslam (@SoniaSAslam) April 19, 2020
Stevenson leaves behind two children and a husband, as well as friends and family who Bergerman said would be supported in the time ahead.
“Heidi answered the call of duty and lost her life while protecting those she served,” Bergerman said of Stevenson.
The mass shooting began on Saturday evening with a firearms complaint in Portapique. When they arrived, officers reportedly found “several casualties” inside and outside a home in the area, but the suspect was not there. The suspect led police on a lengthy chase, and at one point, the 51-year-old wore a police uniform and drove a mock-up cruise while on his killing spree across the province’s northern area.
He was killed after being intercepted by officers at a gas station in Enfield, N.S.
Earlier in the day, Mounties said it was possible more bodies will be found as the investigation progresses.
“The impact of this incident will extend from one end of this province to the other,” Bergerman said. “As Nova Scotians, we have to do what we are known for. And come together in times of need and support one another.”
The second officer who was hurt in the shooting sustained non-life threatening injuries, the RCMP said.
There’s been an outpouring of support online in the hours after the deaths were confirmed.
In a statement, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, “As a country, in moments like these, we come together to support one another. Together we will mourn with the families of the victims, and help them get through this difficult time.”
— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) April 19, 2020
Premier Stephen McNeil offered condolences to “families of the victims” and called the incident “one of the most senseless acts of violence in our province’s history.”
“I never imagined when I went to bed last night that I would wake up to the horrific news that an active shooter was on the loose in Nova Scotia,” McNeil said in Halifax at a previously scheduled news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic.
In B.C., premier John Horgan tweeted, “The hearts of British Columbians are with all of the victims, including an RCMP member, of this senseless attack.”
Devastating news out of Portapique, NS. The hearts of British Columbians are with all of the victims, including an RCMP member, of this senseless attack.
— John Horgan (@jjhorgan) April 19, 2020
Police officers and departments across the country also took to social media to share their condolences.
On behalf of the #VPD, our deepest heartfelt condolences to our #RCMP brothers & sisters, family & community in #NovaScotia @RCMPNS @rcmpgrcpolice @NPFFPN1 @VancouverPD @CACP_ACCP #LODD #EOW pic.twitter.com/16GnuTrrCJ
— Adam Palmer (@ChiefPalmer) April 19, 2020