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Firm representing families of Nova Scotia mass shooting victims retains former murder investigator

A woman pays her respects to victims of a mass shooting at a roadblock in Portapique, N.S., on Wednesday, April 22, 2020. More than seven weeks after a man disguised as a Mountie killed 22 people in rural Nova Scotia, the RCMP have finally hinted at what may have motivated one of the worst mass killings in Canadian history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

A high-profile criminal investigation firm has been hired to assist the families of the victims of the Nova Scotia mass shooting.

Martin & Associates Investigations has been hired by Patterson Law, the firm representing many of the families impacted by the mass shooting on April 18 and 19, 2020.

Tom Martin, the head of Martin & Associates, is a former member of the Halifax Regional Police with experience in criminal investigation in both the public and private sectors.

Read more: Families of Nova Scotia shooting victims launch class-action lawsuit against RCMP

Robert Pineo of Patterson Law says Martin will be a welcome addition to their pursuit of justice for the families.

“(Martin) really feels the cases he’s working on, he has great sympathy to these families, and to be honest for all Nova Scotians that have had to go through this,” said Pineo.

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“I trust that he and his people will give it 100 per cent all the time, and I have that level of trust with him.”

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Nova Scotia gunman flagged for suspicious cash transactions before April shooting: documents – Sep 21, 2020

Twenty-two people died at the hands of a gunman disguised as an RCMP officer in rural Nova Scotia communities on April 18 and 19.

Pineo expects Martin to provide expertise in police command procedure, crime scene analysis and police investigation procedures.

“I have a working history with Martin & Associates and Patterson Law has every confidence in their abilities, independence, and professionalism,” said Pineo.

Read more: Protests in two Nova Scotia locations over failure to call inquiry into mass shooting

The proposed suit against the RCMP and provincial government was filed in June by Tyler Edison Blair – the eldest son of Greg and Jamie Blair – as well as the widower of VON nurse Heather O’Brien, Andrew Frederick O’Brien.

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The proposed class action alleges that even though the RCMP knew that a gunman with a prior history of violence was on the loose in Portapique, N.S., the police force failed to protect the public from the shooter and failed to adequately warn the public about the active shooter situation.

The lawsuit also claims punitive damages against the RCMP for its handling of the investigation after the fact.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Patterson Law is asking anyone with information documentation, photos or video footage to contact their Nova Scotia mass shooting tip page, where information can be provided securely.

Global News has reached out to RCMP for comment and did not receive an immediate response.