April 19, 2020
RCMP Nova Scotia
On Sunday April 19, 2020 RCMP Constable Heidi Stevenson was shot and killed while attempting to stop a rampaging active shooter in Nova Scotia.
Late Saturday night on April 18, RCMP responded to a firearms call in the seaside village of Portapique, along the north shore of Cobequid Bay, a rural area of farms and recreational properties. Officers arrived to a “chaotic” scene, with casualties both inside and outside a house. That prompted a massive emergency response including helicopters, emergency task force officers, and other forces. The shooter was not found on scene.
Early Sunday morning, with the help of witnesses, the shooter was identified and appeared to be dressed as an RCMP officer driving a replica RCMP vehicle. Later, another call of shots fired was reported north of Portapique in Glenholme where more people were killed, including two off-duty Corrections of Canada officers. The shooter headed south towards Halifax in the replica RCMP vehicle to cause more death and destruction.
Cst. Stevenson had agreed to meet another officer in Shubenacadie, about 50 km south of Debert. The other constable arrived at the meeting first, and when he saw another RCMP cruiser heading towards him, he assumed it was Constable Stevenson. Instead it was the shooter, who began firing his weapon, wounding the officer; the officer managed to drive away and escape. The shooter continued north on the highway, where he came across Cst. Stevenson, who was driving south to meet her colleague. The shooter crashed into Cst. Stevenson head-on, before shooting her and setting both their cars ablaze. When a bystander stopped to help, he too was shot and the shooter stole his silver SUV.
About an hour after the events in Shubenacadie, and after killing one more victim, the shooter was confronted at a gas station in Enfield, dying in a shootout by police.
Cst. Stevenson’s colleague survived his wounds and was released from hospital later that day.
The active shooter incident totalled 22 murders, including Cst. Stevenson. The crime scenes are spread over 100 km and include several arson sites.
Cst. Stevenson, a 23-year veteran, graduated from Depot in 1996. She spent most of her career in Darmouth, Cole Harbour, Halifax County, Halifax District and Enfield, Nova Scotia. She also served three years with the Musical Ride.
Cst. Stevenson was a married mother of two. She left behind her husband and two children. Our condolences go out to Cst. Stevenson’s family, friends, and colleagues. She will be remembered.