The RCMP in Nova Scotia knew it had a murderous gunman on the loose Saturday night but failed to warn local residents about the threat to their safety through the provincial emergency alert system.
It's a decision that has friends and family of some of the victims wondering if their loved ones would be alive now if they'd been warned about an armed killer at large in Colchester County.
"I feel strongly about that. I do feel if we had received an alert, an amber alert, we've had COVID-19 alerts ... then many people might have been spared," said Heather Matthews, a longtime walking partner and neighbour of Lillian Hyslop.
Hyslop was killed Sunday morning in the Wentworth area, roughly eight hours after the shooter had killed people in Portapique, a community 40 kilometres to the south.
Matthews and her husband took a different path on their walk that morning, avoiding the roadway and a provincial park that had been closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The two heard what sounded like a gunshot a few hundred metres away but assumed it was a hunter and kept walking.