(RCMP file photo)

DARTMOUTH: Here are remarks released by N.S. RCMP on April 22 from the Commanding Officer, Assistant Commissioner Lee Bergerman.

It is regarding the mass killing which left 22 dead that stretched from Portapique to Wentworth to the Milford area, before ending in Enfield where the gunman was killed by RCMP.

This all took place over a 12 hour span on April 18-19.

“What happened this past weekend in our beautiful province can only be described as devastating. The sorrow in communities from coast to coast is palpable. I feel it, we feel it. We see it in the candles lit in windows and on porches.

The pain and heartache of all of the families and friends who have lost loved ones though is incomprehensible and only made more difficult by the COVID-19 pandemic among us. The opportunity to come together to provide comfort, is not there. I and all of us in “H” Division RCMP extend our sympathies to all affected.

We see the vigils across the province in honour of your loved ones and recognizing your great loss, including the loss of RCMP member, Cst. Heidi Stevenson, who was dedicated to protecting Nova Scotians, and whose family is interwoven in the local community.

The impact of the weekend’s incidents will remain and how it’s changed us all cannot be ignored. One of these impacts is an understandable unease, and for some fear. These incidents were unprecedented, not only in this province but in this country. There is no instruction book for how we should feel.

What I can assure you of, is that all of us in every part of our Division and in communities across the province are dedicated to your safety and security. We are here for you.

I am very proud of the dedication of all employees in this Division and of their commitment to all Nova Scotians. This was never more on display than in our response this past weekend. From when our telecommunicators received the 911 calls and we arrived in Portapique to the extensive search for the suspect to when we stopped the gunman. Our officers were there to protect Nova Scotians.

One of our jobs is to thoroughly investigate the tragic incidents. We are doing just that. We know you have many unanswered questions. We do too. We also know you expect us to do a good job, and we want to do a good job for you. We will need some time to do that. You can be assured our investigative teams are working around the clock and employees at every level are contributing to this investigation. We have tremendous resource support from other provinces and our federal counterparts to help us with the investigation. We are grateful for their support.

We feel your sorrow, but we also feel your support and your resilience. Thank you. Thank you for your condolences, your well wishes, and the many messages of support.

Nova Scotia Strong is indeed accurate. We are here for you.”