At least 10 dead after Canadian man goes on shooting rampage

A 51-year-old man has gone on a shooting rampage across the northern part of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia today (local time), killing at least 10 people, including a policewoman.

At least 10 dead after Canadian man goes on shooting rampage

A 51-year-old man has gone on a shooting rampage across the northern part of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia today (local time), killing at least 10 people, including a policewoman.

The man was identified as Gabriel Wortman and authorities said he disguised himself as a police officer in uniform at one point and mocked up a car to make it seem like a Royal Canadian Mounted Police cruiser.

He was arrested by the RCMP in a petrol station in Enfield, Nova Scotia, northwest of downtown Halifax. Police later announced that he had died. "In excess of 10 people have been killed," RCMP Chief Superintendent Chris Leather said.

"We believe it to be one person who is responsible for all the killings and that he alone moved across the northern part of the province and committed what appears to be several homicides."

Supt Leather said they don't have a final death count.

"It almost certainly will be more than 10. How much more than 10, I do not know," he said.

Who were the victims?

Brian Sauvé, President of National Police Federation union, said a police officer was among those killed in a shooting and another was injured.

"Countless families are in mourning today," Assistant RCMP Commissioner Lee Begerman said. The dead officer has been identified as Const Heidi Stevenson, a mother-of-two and a 23-year-old veteran of the force.

Police have not provided a motive for the attack, but claim many of the victims did not know the shooter.

"That fact that this individual had a uniform and a police car at his disposal certainly speaks to it not being a random act," Supt Leather said.

Supt Leather said they would investigate whether it had anything to do with the coronavirus pandemic.

He said at point there was an exchange of gunfire between the suspect and police.

There were half a dozen police vehicles at the scene where the suspect was shot. Yellow police tape surrounded the gas pumps, and a large silver-coloured SUV was being investigated.

The incident started in the small, rural town of Portapique, with police advising residents to lock their homes and stay in their basements.

Police found many dead inside and outside the home of the first scene. Several structures were on fire in the area as well.

"This is one of the most senseless acts of violence in our province's history," Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil said.

He added it was an additional "heavy burden" amid efforts to contain the new coronavirus

Police stated earlier today the suspect was driving a car that looked like a police vehicle and wearing a police uniform, but later said he was "believed to be driving a small, silver Chevrolet SUV", travelling southbound on a highway. They said he is not an RCMP employee or officer.

Cpl Lisa Croteau, a spokeswoman with the provincial force, said police received a call about "a person with firearms" at around 10.30 last night and the investigation "evolved into an active shooting investigation".

How the community has responded

"My heart goes out to everyone affected in what is a terrible situation," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.

Christine Mills, a resident of the town, said it had been a frightening night for the small town, with armed officers patrolling the streets. In the morning, helicopters flew overhead searching for the suspect.

"I feel better now to know he's in custody," Ms Mills said.

"It's nerve-wracking because you don't know if somebody has lost their mind and is going to beat in your front door."

Tom Taggart, a lawmaker who represents the Portapique area in the Municipality of Colchester, said the quiet community has been shaken.

"This is just an absolutely wonderful, peaceful quiet community and the idea that this could happen in our community is unbelievable," Mr Taggart said by phone from his home in Bass River, near the lockdown area.

A Gabriel Wortman is listed as a denturist in Dartmouth, according to the Denturist Society of Nova Scotia website.

A suspect photo issued by the RCMP matches video footage of a man being interviewed about dentures by CTV Atlantic in 2014.

Source : 9 News More