Nova Scotia

'I believe they just want peace': Road in Portapique to restrict traffic in aftermath of shooting

Private security will soon be turning the public and the media away from Orchard Beach Drive in Portapique, N.S. It is an area where a gunman killed people during a shooting rampage last weekend. He also set several homes on fire.

'The bottom line is they've asked for privacy'

The RCMP blocks the path to the crime scenes in Portapique. (Jonathan Villeneuve/Radio-Canada)

Private security will soon be turning the public and the media away from Orchard Beach Drive in Portapique, N.S.

It is an area where a gunman killed people during a shooting rampage last weekend. He also set several homes on fire.

By the time the shooting ended a total of 22 victims were dead at several locations around the province.

The road is privately owned.

As soon as the RCMP release the crime scenes in the area, security stationed at the end of the road will screen anyone who doesn't live there, according to Tom Taggart, the municipal councillor.

People in the community have asked Taggart to speak on their behalf. 

"The bottom line is they've asked for privacy," Taggart told CBC's Information Morning in Halifax.

"There will be security at the end of the road for a while to make sure that unless the folks want somebody to come in and visit them, then nobody will get in."

Colchester Councillor Tom Taggart has been chosen to speak for people who live in the Portapique area. (CBC)

He said area residents expect a flurry of people to try to get in and see what is left of the crime scenes.

"There will be lots of curiosity," he said "The media will want to get in, the general public will want to get in."

Signs will be put up warning people that the area is private property and trespassers will be prosecuted. 

Taggart said residents are thankful for the outpouring of support from across the country, but he said it's important people directly impacted by the tragedy have the space they need to try to put their lives back together. 

He said that can't be done if there's a surge in traffic and onlookers coming into the community.

"The folks directly affected by the tragedy, I believe they just want peace, " said Taggart, "It will be a long time before life will ever be normal to them again but they want to get as close to that as they can." 

However, people can still access Portapique Beach Road, another spot where the gunman was active. It will remain open because it is a public road.

A memorial has been established for victims of Nova Scotia's mass shooting on Plains Road between Debert and Highway 104. (Shaina Luck/CBC)

To help people cope with the tragedy, the municipality has put up posters throughout the area that contain a list of contacts that residents can use to reach out for help.

A dumpster has also been brought in to allow people to discard materials and personal property that may have been damaged in the attack. 

The municipality is waiting to hear what other kinds of help people might need.

"I don't think anybody really knows what they'll need," said Taggart.

But when people need help, Taggart said he and the municipality "will do everything we can do to ensure that they get it."

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With files from Information Morning

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