The wife of an RCMP officer who was killed in the Moncton shootings almost six years ago is reaching out to provide support for the victims’ families and first responders in Nova Scotia.
“I am heartbroken for them,” said Angela Gevaudan.
RCMP say that 22 people were killed and three were wounded during a 13-hour rampage that began in Portapique, N.S., on Saturday.
Gevaudan’s husband, Const. Fabrice Gevaudan, was one of three RCMP officers killed by a lone gunman in Moncton in June 2014.
“The part of my heart that understands violent loss connects with these families, these surviving families,” she said.
She said the shootings in Nova Scotia have rekindled some painful memories, but she can’t imagine what it must be like for the families trying to grieve in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“We have these social distancing restrictions and so you know that people can’t come together and the can’t comfort each other,” she said.
Gevaudan said she is hoping an organization she represents can offer some comfort to the family of fallen RCMP Const. Heidi Stevenson and to first responders who may be dealing with post-traumatic stress following the tragedy.
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“The Wounded Warriors Canada Nova Scotia Strong First Responders Fund is going to be dedicated specifically to the first responders who are dealing with the incident,” she said.
The funds raised will be used to provide mental health supports.
Having worked as a 911 dispatcher in Moncton, she said she cannot “wrap her head around” the fact that there are 16 crime scenes under investigation.
“I cannot imagine; it would have been so chaotic and so difficult to try to keep up with everything.”
She said she understands the frustrations of some families looking for answers from police.
“As a surviving family member, you want answers, you want to know what happened and you want to know that everything was handled in a way you would expect from law enforcement.”
The answers she said will come in time as the complex investigation unfolds.
In the meantime, she’s offering love and support to those left behind dealing with their loss.
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