Families, friends share memories of victims; press for answers from RCMP
HALIFAX -- Heather O’Brien was the glue that held her family together.
"She was one of a kind. She was kind and she would do anything for anyone. She was sassy and very forward,” said Michaella O'Brien, Heather’s daughter.
Heather O’Brien was one of the 22 victims in last weekend’s mass killing. The 55-year-old was a licensed practical nurse and worked with the Victorian Order of Nurses for almost 17 years.
"She finally had built a life that she was getting ready to enjoy living after working her entire life and that was taken from us and from her,” said Darcy Dobson, Heather’s daughter.
O’Brien’s family says they knew something was wrong early Sunday morning, after getting a call from someone their mother worked with.
"All they told me was that something was wrong, so I contacted my family and we went to find our mother because that's our mother. And we knew then, at shortly after 10 in the morning. It was not confirmed to us until after five o'clock, and it took a fight to get a conformation, even after we knew,” said Dobson.
Tom Bagley was also among the victims. He was a navy veteran and a retired firefighter.
"When he was born, they broke the mold. He was just one of a kind,” said Wayne Wilkins, a longtime friend of Bagley.
Wilkins first met Bagley in 1959. He says the pair went to school together in Norton, N.B., and both ended up serving in the Navy.
"When Tom turned 17, the year he turned 17, he joined the Navy. Him and two other people from the village,” said Wilkins. “I joined in '67, met them in Cornwallis and from then on, Tom and I went on courses together, we were stationed on Canada’s last aircraft carrier together. Stationed in Chatham, when it was still a nuclear base."
It’s believed Bagley was shot and killed while trying to help save his neighbours, Sean McLeod and Alanna Jenkins, who were both killed and their home was burned to the ground.
Thursday, firefighters from the Halifax Stanfield International Airport created a memorial outside of Bagley’s home. In a Tweet, the airport says: “Our hearts are with Tom’s loved ones at this very difficult time. Thank you, Tom, for your bravery and your service.”
"That was just the person he was. He was an outgoing, wanted to be involved in everything around him. He just was constantly trying to help people and he really enjoyed helping people. A lot of people had a lot of respect for him,” said Wilkins.
Like so any other families and friends that are grieving the loss of a loved one, Darcy Dobson and her family have questions that they want answered.
"I want to know why there wasn't an emergency alert at eight o'clock in the morning when they knew that that man left Portapique because that would have saved countless lives, not just my mother's,” said Dobson. "I want to know why an RCMP officer has not knocked on my father's front door and told him how sorry they are, there's been nobody. It took them a day-and-a-half to even call."