Nova Scotia

'The nicest people': Daughter remembers father, stepmom killed in N.S. rampage

Sean McLeod and Alanna Jenkins are two of 22 victims in the deadly weekend rampage in Nova Scotia. They're being remembered as warm, caring people who were always willing to lend a hand.

'They would have done anything for anybody and not thought twice about it,' says Taylor Andrews

Sean McLeod and Alanna Jenkins of West Wentworth, N.S., were among the victims of the mass killing in Nova Scotia this past weekend. (Submitted by Josh Jenkins)

The McLeod and Jenkins household in West Wentworth, N.S., was known for two things: fun and laughter.

Whether it was huddling inside with friends in the winter or jumping from the backyard into the Wallace River in the summer, the property was always alive with people.

"They had the house everybody always wanted to be at," Taylor Andrews told CBC's Mainstreet. "They loved having a full house, everybody was always welcome to stay there."

Andrews is the daughter of Sean McLeod. Over the weekend, he and his partner, Alanna Jenkins, died in one of the largest mass killings in Canadian history.

Andrews said they were warm, caring people, with a long list of family and friends who loved them.

One of those people was Josh Jenkins, Alanna's brother.

Sean McLeod and Alanna Jenkins were Corrections Canada employees. They are shown here in a family handout photo. (Taylor McLeod via The Canadian Press)

"They were the best. Alanna was my big sister and best friend. I couldn't have picked a better partner for her in Sean. He was my brother and my friend, these two will be so deeply missed by all of us," Josh Jenkins wrote in a message to CBC News.

He said his family is having a tough time dealing with the loss. 

"She was a beautiful human," he said.

Both McLeod and Jenkins worked hard to have an open and inviting home.

'My friends loved them'

Andrews and her friends would often head out to the house and spend the day with McLeod and Jenkins.

"We would go tubing in the backyard right off their property and they loved when I brought my friends out," said Andrews. "My friends loved them."

This time last year, McLeod and Jenkins took Andrews, her husband and their small child on a trip to Florida. It's a memory that Andrews cherishes.

"I'm so glad we got to do that with them," she said.

The couple also loved doting on Andrews' soon-to-be two-year-old daughter — she was supposed to be visiting them on Saturday night, but didn't end up going over.

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In his obituary, McLeod, 44, was remembered as the backbone of the family who enjoyed hunting in the woods, floating on the river and "Saturday night hoedowns."

McLeod was a proud member of the Cobequid Education Centre rugby team and the Truro Saints Rugby Cub where his daughter continued his passion for the game.

"Sean always had a smile on his face. We will miss him forever and a day," it reads.

Jenkins is remembered as "the light of our life that never stopped shining."

The 36-year-old is described in her obituary as a beautiful, strong, warm and loving soul who "lit up a room whenever she walked into it."

It says she and her husband loved hosting family events, cooking together for everyone and celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas.

"If you were lucky to be her friend, you knew she always had your back. Together she and Sean lived life to the fullest," her obituary reads.

Their two Labrador retrievers, Bama and Remi, were also killed with them.

'They would have done anything for anybody'

McLeod and Jenkins were both Corrections Canada employees. McLeod worked at the federal prison in Springhill, N.S., and Jenkins worked at the Nova Institution for Women in Truro, N.S.

In an email, Corrections Canada said both were correctional managers "who carried out their responsibilities with the highest level of integrity and professionalism."

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said in a news release the couple "would be remembered for their commitment to public safety," and they would be greatly missed by co-workers, family and friends. 

"They would have done anything for anybody and not thought twice about it," said Andrews. 

"They were the nicest people I know."

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McLeod's obituary says he attended Holland College, eventually becoming a skilled crisis negotiator before starting his 23-year career at Springhill.

"As a past founder of the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers, he was Springhill's first local president and said to always have the health and safety of all members in mind," it reads.

"Although Sean had a great career with CSC, he was counting down the days until retirement and looked forward to a house full of grandbabies and loved ones."

Jenkins's obituary says she worked at Nova Institute for 15 years and was, by all accounts, "very good at her job" and was well respected.

If you are seeking mental health support during this time, here are resources available to Nova Scotians. 

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With files from CBC's Mainstreet and Laura Fraser

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