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Canada virtual vigil after mass shooting

International 22 Apr, 2020 Follow News

The gunman shot at least 18 people in Nova Scotia

Canada is holding a national virtual vigil this week to honour the victims of the country’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.

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 was killed near her hometown of Debert, Nova Scotia when a gunman disguised as a policeman went on a random shooting spree, 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".

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