Const. Heidi Stevenson, killed during N.S. mass shooting, honoured at RCMP memorial

CBC News · 

‘I know no better, no grittier, no tougher, more determined woman than her’

RCMP members escort the hearse at a regimental memorial service for Const. Heidi Stevenson, killed in the line of duty during the 2020 mass shooting in Nova Scotia. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

Hundreds of Mounties, law enforcement officers and first responders from across Canada gathered in Cole Harbour, N.S., Wednesday to pay tribute to Const. Heidi Stevenson, who was killed in the line of duty on during the 2020 Nova Scotia mass shooting.

More than 1,400 people were in attendance and over 500 first responders marched in the procession. 

The RCMP was not able to hold a regimental funeral following Stevenson’s death due to COVID-19 restrictions in place at the time, and a private family funeral was held instead.

The service was not open to the public, but people were encouraged to gather along the procession route of uniformed officers on Forest Hills Parkway prior to the service. Members of the RCMP, military, police and emergency services marched from St. Vincent de Paul Church to Cole Harbour Place.

Cole Harbour resident Sherry McBride said her son is a member of the Mounties and she felt it was crucial to show her support in person along the procession route.

A procession leads to the memorial service of Const. Heidi Stevenson in Cole Harbour, N.S., on June 29, 2022. (Steve Lawrence/CBC)

Childhood friend Claire McIntyre said Stevenson was a force from the moment she met her. 

McIntyre said she was initially surprised at Stevenson’s decision to join the RCMP, but she always had an intuitive sense of right and wrong. 

“She did what was right, even if it wasn’t the popular choice,” McIntyre said.

Another childhood friend, Angela McKnight, recalled how Stevenson met the love of her life, her husband Dean, while working as a high school liaison officer in Cole Harbour. They had two children, Connor and Ava, who also attended today’s ceremony. 

“I know no better, no grittier, no tougher, more determined woman than her,” said McKnight through tears.

Const. Heidi Stevenson served in a variety of roles for the RCMP, including as a school liaison officer. (Nova Scotia RCMP/Twitter)

RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki also addressed the service and said Stevenson made an unforgettable impact on the lives of many.

During her 23 years with the RCMP, Stevenson took part in the Musical Ride and worked as a drug recognition expert and in communications and community policing. 

“I’ve always believed that a career in policing is a calling. Heidi answered that call and tragically paid the ultimate price,” Lucki said.

“Heidi will be remembered for her courage and strength of character. We will always be grateful for her heroism that day. For the bravery she demonstrated and for the actions, she took to protect the community she cared so deeply.”

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