On April 18th, at least 16 people were killed in a mass shooting in Nova Scotia, Canada.
The suspect, 51-year-old Gabriel Wortman was dressed in a police uniform, and disguised his car to look like a police car.
The shootings took place over 12 hours in the rural town of Portapique. The rampage began on the evening of April 18th, in the small town, located about 80 miles north of Halifax, and police told residents to lock their homes and stay inside.
One of the victims was Heidi Stevenson, a 23-year veteran of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and a married mother of two. A second officer was injured.
Residents of the town of Portapique said that armed officers were patrolling the streets and helicopters were used to find the suspect.
Police said the suspect Gabriel Wortman, a 51-year-old denturist, killed people in several locations and some of his victims were not known to him.
Chris Leather, the Nova Scotia RCMP’s criminal operations officer, said Wortman had been seen wearing a police uniform but it was not clear whether he had been disguised as an officer during the shootings.
“The fact that this individual had a uniform and a police car at his disposal certainly speaks to it not being a random act,” Leather said.
Wortman was arrested at a petrol station, but he later died.
Leather said the gunman had exchanged fire with police at one point.
“Our officers were involved in terminating the threat,” he said, adding the independent Serious Incident Response Team (SiRT), which probes incidents involving the province’s police, was now handling that part of the investigation.
SiRT said in a statement a confrontation had occurred in Enfield, which is near Halifax airport, “resulting in officers discharging their firearms. The suspect was found to be deceased at the scene”.
Police had said the suspect was driving what appeared to be a police car but later said he was believed to be in a small, silver Chevrolet SUV.
The attack wasn’t investigated as an act of terrorism, but Chris Leather said that it could be related to the closure of non-essential businesses in relation to the pandemic lockdown.
Nova Scotia’s premier Stephen McNeil described the shooting as “one of the most senseless acts of violence in our province’s history”.
He added: “I never imagined when I went to bed last night that I would wake up to the horrific news that an active shooter was on the loose in Nova Scotia.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said: “My heart goes out to everyone affected in what is a terrible situation”.
“As a country, in moments like these, we come together to support one another. Together we will mourn with the families of the victims, and help them get through this difficult time,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in his statement.
This is the deadliest such attack in Canada’s history. The second deadliest was that of a gunman killing 14 women in Montreal back in 1989.
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