Blue Line

Nova Scotia RCMP investigate theft from park dedicated to two women killed by gunman

April 23, 2023  By The Canadian Press

Apr. 23, 2023, Debert, N.S. – The husband of a woman killed in the Nova Scotia mass shooting three years ago is offering a reward for information about a theft from a memorial park that pays tribute to her life.

In a Facebook message posted Friday, Nick Beaton alleges someone recently entered Heart’s Haven Memorial Park in Debert, N.S., and stole two steel beams that were to be used to build a bridge at the site.

“You low-lifes hit an all-time low,” Beaton’s message says, adding that a white Dodge or Ford pickup was seen in the area on April 16. “Maybe if anyone has a camera in the . . . area could give a look for that truck.”

The park is dedicated to preserving the memory of Kristen Beaton and Heather O’Brien, both of whom were killed nearby by a lone gunman disguised as a Mountie on the morning of April 19, 2020.


They were among 22 people who were shot to death during the killer’s 13-hour rampage, which ended when two RCMP officers fatally shot him at a gas station north of Halifax.

At the time of her death, 33-year-old Kristen Beaton was pregnant with her second child. She had worked for the Victorian Order of Nurses as a continuing care assistant for nearly six years. She was on her way to visit a client when she was killed in her car as it was parked at the roadside.

O’Brien was Kristen Beaton’s co-worker at the Victorian Order of Nurses. The 55-year-old woman was a licensed practical nurse who had worked with VON for nearly 17 years.

Shortly after her death, daughter Darcy Dobson described her mother as a kind and beautiful woman.

“I want everyone to remember how kind she was, (and) how much she loved being a nurse,” Dobson said at the time.

The RCMP confirmed Saturday that investigators are looking into the theft from the park.

Sgt. Andrew Joyce said the five-metre beams are worth about $2,000 each and weight about 300 kilograms in total.

A message from Dobson on the park’s Facebook page said surveillance footage is being reviewed.

“To be a thief in any capacity is horrible but to take away from a community-funded memorial park in honour of two selfless women is deplorable,” Dobson wrote. “If anyone has any information or thinks they saw something please reach out.”

In response to Dobson’s message, several people expressed their sadness and anger.

“What compels someone to do something so heartless and despicable?” asked one commenter. “I don’t understand it.”

Others were more blunt: “There is no end to what some people will do! Unbelievable!”

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