Published on June 06, 2014
In a show of support and mourning, flowers were left at the Pictou Detachment RCMP in Stellarton. Pictou County RCMP have set up a book of condolences at the Pictou and Stellarton detachments that can be signed between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. between June 9 and 13. JOHN BRANNEN – THE NEWS
Published on June 06, 2014
NEW GLASGOW – Tara Tucker was enjoying an evening in her backyard Wednesday when she heard sirens in her Moncton neighbourhood.
The Pictou County native, who has lived in Moncton for the past two decades, said she didn’t think much of the noise until it continued and a neighbour mentioned someone had posted on Facebook that there was a shooting in the area.
“I went in and turned on the television and radio and it became instant,” she said. “It was such a short amount of time from the time I heard about it, to when I heard a helicopter flew over my house.”
The shootings of RCMP officers took place just few minutes from her home in a neighbouring subdivision so she was in the “red zone” and on lockdown until the suspect was caught by police early Friday morning.
Tucker said she couldn’t believe at first she was living through such an experience. Her house is surrounded by other homes that often have children playing in the backyards or on the sidewalks, but during this standoff, there was only silence.
“I come from Pictou County where we don’t normally lock our doors and this is usually a pretty quiet place,” she said. “It just goes to show you it can happen anywhere.”
She followed the standoff and police instructions through social media sites and news on the television and radio.
“I had my youngest daughter home with me and she was terrified,” she said. “It didn’t feel much different in the daytime, but once it got dark and you couldn’t see in your backyard, you started to get frightened.”
Both she and 12-year-old Jazmin tried to get some sleep that night, but it was difficult for her daughter to settle down.
“She was double checking all the doors and closing the blinds,” she said. “She was scared to go upstairs. I think around 1 a.m. she finally got some rest.”
Tucker said Thursday was the worst day of all because the police didn't know where the gunman was hiding.
“They figured he was still in the area but they didn’t know exactly,” she said.
Exhausted from the stress of the past few days, Tucker said she went to bed around 11:30 p.m. Thursday and breathed a sigh of relief Friday morning when she turned on the news and found out the suspect had been apprehended by police.
School had been cancelled on Friday for students, but Tucker said she returned to work and soon found out the incident was the talk of the town.
“You have basic crime to some degree, but you would never think this would happen in your neighbourhood,” she said. “It just goes to show you, you never know.”
Tucker praised the police for their handling of the situation and keeping the residents up to date on the events.
She said she knows this was a random act and may never happen again in her community, but it will probably make her more aware of her surroundings and take extra precautions in the future to keep her and her family safe.
“I was going out on my back door step to get some air when it was all going on and it was just starting to get dark and there was total silence. It was kind of eerie,” she said. “I was the only one there when you would normally hear people out and kids playing. In a split second, reality set in.”