SRSB offers support and counselling

Guysborough school community mourns student, family

January 5 2017

As students and teachers returned to Chedabucto Education Centre / Guysborough Academy on Thursday morning, they were offered support services to help them deal with the sudden death of 10-year-old student Aaliyah Desmond.

"It is with great sadness that we can confirm the heart-breaking loss of one of our students at Chedabucto Education Centre/Guysborough Academy. The school administration has contacted the family to offer our sympathies and support," spokesperson Deanna Gillis told The Journal Wednesday.

Members of the school and SRSB's regional incident response teams are at the school offering support and counselling services.  This support will be in place as long as it is needed, she said.

Aaliyah died along with her mother, Shanna, 31; her father, Lionel, 33; and her grandmother, Brenda Desmond, 52, of gunshot wounds at their home in Upper Big Tracadie Tuesday. Family members have said the father sought treatment for PTSD following his military service in Afghanistan.

Shanna Desmond had recently graduated with a nursing degree from StFX University and had been working as a nurse at St. Martha's Regional Hospital in Antigonish.

The Nova Scotia Medical Examiner’s Office will conduct autopsies to confirm cause of death.  Lionel's gunshot wounds appear to be self-inflicted, according to an RCMP statement.  There were no signs of forced entry into the residence.

The Nova Scotia RCMP Major Crimes Unit has taken over the investigation to determine the circumstances that led to this tragic situation.