January 10, 2017 2:46 pm

Nova Scotia murder-suicide: hospital did not turn away anyone, doctor says

Shanna and Lionel Desmond hold their daughter Aaliyah in a photo from the Facebook page of Shanna Desmond.


A Nova Scotia doctor is challenging allegations that a former soldier who killed his family before committing suicide was turned away from an Antigonish hospital in the days before the killings.

READ MORE: Review taking place in light of apparent murder-suicide in Nova Scotia

Dr. Amit Minoli issued a statement Tuesday, saying no person was refused services or turned away from St. Martha’s Regional Hospital.

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Minoli was responding to a comment made last week by a relative of Lionel Desmond, the former infantryman who fatally shot his wife Shanna, their 10-year-old daughter Aaliyah and his mother Brenda before turning the gun on himself last week in Upper Big Tracadie, N.S.

A day after their bodies were found in the family home on Jan 3, Rev. Elaine Walcott said she couldn’t understand why Lionel Desmond was refused treatment at St. Martha’s mental health unit before the shootings.

READ MORE: PTSD not the only factor in Nova Scotia triple murder-suicide, experts suggest

Walcott says he was told there were no beds available at the facility, and they didn’t have his files.

Minoli, a senior medical official at St. Martha’s, says the hospital’s emergency room has never been closed, and hospital staff routinely work through bed shortages to provide care to anyone seeking help.

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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