A mass shooting across Nova Scotia left at least 10 dead, including an officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The shooter was disguised as a policeman and had a fake police car. The suspect was killed after an intense manhunt on Sunday afternoon. The manhunt lasted about 12 hours.
UPDATE: The death toll is now listed as 16 dead in multiple crime scenes in this rampage as of Monday.
The rampage began late Saturday at a residence in Portapique, Nova Scotia, a town with a population of between 100 and 250. After reports of an active shooter, police responded to the residence and found multiple casualties. They have not stated the final death toll. They were still processing all the crime scenes.
Police advised local residents to stay in their homes with their doors and windows locked due to an “active shooter” in the area. The incident included numerous fires to buildings and vehicles, as well as killings in multiple locations across the province.
The suspect was identified as Gabriel Wortman, 51, who was dressed as a member of the RCMP. He was at first driving a car that appeared to look like RCMP patrol cars.
To clarify, the suspect in our active shooter investigation, Gabriel Wortman, is NOT employed by the RCMP but he may be wearing an RCMP uniform. He is considered armed and dangerous. If you see him, do NOT approach and call 911 immediately.
— RCMP, Nova Scotia (@RCMPNS) April 19, 2020
“There’s one difference between his car and our Royal Canadian Mounted Police vehicles: the car # [registration plate]. The suspect’s car is 28B11, behind rear passenger window. If you see 28B11 call 911 immediately.”
The RCMP warned people that the suspect “appeared” to be one of them after he fled the scene of the shooting late Saturday disguised as a “Mountie.” He later changed cars to a small silver Chevy Tracker SUV. He was not employed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Here is an image from someone who has been verified to be on the scene, which shows armed #RCMP officers advancing on the scene of a burning car used by Gabriel Wortman during the tragic #NovaScotia shooting Sunday morning. pic.twitter.com/bsxXHUJPSw
— Corné Van Hoepen (@Cvanhoepen) April 19, 2020
Police chased the suspect and finally cornered him near a gas station in Enfield on Sunday afternoon. He was killed in an exchange of gunfire, although police tweeted that he was “in custody.”
“The initial search for the suspect led to multiple sites in the area, including structures that were on fire. The search continued overnight and into the morning. This morning, we actively sought out the suspect through multiple communities throughout Nova Scotia. The search for the suspect ended this morning when the suspect was located and I can confirm that he is deceased…We are in the early stages of an incredibly detailed and complex investigation that has forever changed countless lives and has left multiple victims. Our focus right now is to gather all evidence and information about these incidents and to get answers to many unanswered questions.” RCMP Investigator Leather (Heavy.com)
The policewoman who was killed as a 23 year veteran of the RCMP, Constable Heidi Stevenson. She was a mother of two. Another member of the RCMP was also injured and hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.
— RCMP, Nova Scotia (@RCMPNS) April 19, 2020
The RCMP Nova Scotia statement read:
“Today is a devastating day for Nova Scotia and it will remain etched in the minds of many, for years to come.
What has unfolded overnight and into this morning is incomprehensible and many families are experiencing the loss of a loved one.
That includes our own RCMP family. It is with tremendous sadness that I share with you that we lost Cst. Heidi Stevenson, a 23-year veteran of the Force who was killed this morning, while responding to an active shooter incident.
Heidi answered the call of duty and lost her life while protecting those she served.
Earlier this afternoon, I met with Heidi’s family and there are no words to describe their pain. Two children have lost their mother and a husband his wife. Parents lost their daughter and countless others lost an incredible friend and colleague.
Heidi’s family is a part of our RCMP family and we will embrace and support them in the days, weeks and months ahead.
Unfortunately, I have to also share that another one of our officers was injured and is in hospital receiving treatment of non-life threatening injuries. He and his family will be supported and we will be alongside him as he begins his road to recovery.
This tragic incident has also resulted in many victims outside of the RCMP.
Countless families are in mourning today. Each person who lost their life had family and friends and they too will need support.
The impact of this incident will extend from one end of this province to the other. As Nova Scotians, we have to do what we are known for. And come together in times of need and support one another.” Nova Scotia RCMP Commanding Officer, Assistant Commissioner Lee Bergerman
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