In the wake of the tragedy in downtown Kingston on Thursday afternoon, the Limestone City has banded together to support each other.
On Thursday at about 1:45 p.m., a 22-year-old man attacked two other men with a large knife before being shot by a Kingston Police officer near the intersection of Queen and Bagot streets.
Aside from the outpouring of support from across the country sent out on social media, one of the first messages was sent within the Kingston Police ranks.
In an email obtained by the Whig-Standard, Insp. Dan Mastin informed those who may not have heard about the incident and told them that everyone was safe but that one citizen had been killed.
Mastin is in charge of the patrol division, the division of which many of the officers involved in the attack on Thursday are a part.
“All of our officers handled this extremely volatile situation with exceptional professionalism,” Mastin wrote. “Although this was a difficult day, it was also a proud day. Our officers certainly prevented further victims of this senseless crime.”
Mastin thanked everyone involved in the incident. From the dispatchers to the identification unit, he said, “everyone stepped up.”
“Please remember these incidents can occur anywhere,” he wrote to the officers. “Remain vigilant, rely on your training and judgment, but most importantly be safe out there and take care of each other.”
Marco Smits of Frontenac Paramedics said all of the crews involved were taken off the road after handing off their patients to the hospital.
“(They) got together for a couple of hours to debrief with the chief and the deputy chiefs, doing paperwork together, while logistics worked to get the vehicles back in services,” Smits said. “We have a strong peer support team in place and everyone involved was encouraged to reach out to them or our psychologist.”
Addiction and Mental Health Services of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington has pushed out information asking the public to reach out to them if they are hurting.
“Events like yesterday’s can have an effect that ripples beyond those who were directly involved,” Terra Smith, communications co-ordinator for the agency said in a statement.
“There is a lot that we can do, whether for ourselves or for those we know and care for, in the aftermath of a traumatic event.”
She wrote that those who are impacted by the attack need time to heal and need support from family and friends. Some may be denying the fact that they were impacted. She said signs that someone may need extra support include: signs of lasting sadness or anxiety, lost sleep, and withdrawing from others and starting to rely more on drinking, smoking or using drugs.
“For anyone who was witness to or impacted by (Thursday’s) tragic events, or knows someone who witnessed or may be impacted by those events, it is important to know that there can be a range of normal emotional responses — everything from shock, to denial, to fear or helplessness,” Smith wrote.
Those who need support are encouraged to call their 24-hour crisis line at 613-544-4229, or toll-free at 1-866-616-6005.
More information can be found online at amhs-kfla.ca/services/crisis.