At least 19 people dead after rampage across northern Nova Scotia, death toll expected to rise

The RCMP say a weekend killing rampage in Nova Scotia has now claimed at least 19 lives and the toll is expected to rise.Chief Supt. Chris Leather says investigators are continuing to piece together one of Canada’s deadliest mass killings at 16 crime scenes in central and northern Nova Scotia.He says five of the crime scenes involve burned-out buildings, and they expect more bodies to be found inside.Leather says some of the victims were known to the killer, while others who did not know him.The shooter, identified as 51-year-old Gabriel Wortman — who had donned a police uniform at one point — was killed after police intercepted him at a gas station in Enfield, N.S., on Sunday.“Nova Scotia is devastated,” Halifax Mayor Mike Savage wrote online Monday morning. “As we wait for more details of this horrific crime there is an ominous silence that is unprecedented in my lifetime.”“This will not define us as a Province, but it has shaken us to our core.”The identities of those who died are beginning to emerge.The victims so far include RCMP Const. Heidi Stevenson, a 23-year member of the national police force and a mother of two; Debert Elementary school teacher Lisa McCully; care assistant Kristen Beaton; Heather O’Brien, a nurse from Truro; denturist Gina Goulet, and retired firefighter Tom Bagley. Multiple members of several families were killed, among them couple Dawn Madsen and Frank Madsen; Greg Blair and Jamie Blair, parents of four; Jolene Oliver and Aaron Tuck and daughter, Emily Tuck.“The pain comes and goes in waves. I feel like I’m outside of my own body. This can’t be real,” O’Brien’s daughter, Darcy Dobson, wrote on Facebook.“She was kind. She was beautiful. She didn’t deserve any of this. To every single person suffering from this senseless tragedy please feel free to reach out as we are all forever connected in this horrible mess.”Nova Scotia Teachers Union president Paul Wozney identified McCully as one of the dead in a Facebook post, saying their memberships’ “hearts are broken along with those of her colleagues and students at Debert Elementary, as well as her family and friends who knew her not only as a passionate teacher but as a shining love in their lives.”RCMP say they were initially called to reports of a man with firearms in the small community of Portapique, N.S., on Saturday night.There, officers found numerous people dead or wounded, both inside and outside a property. But Chief Insp. Chris Leather said Sunday that by the time police arrived, the shooter was gone.An hours-long manhunt and eventual police chase ensued across a swath of the Maritime province, with officers providing periodic updates about the suspect’s whereabouts.Leather said the killings appeared to be, “at least in part, very random in nature.”Before Wortman’s final confrontation with police at an Enfield truck stop, he apparently had another encounter with police on a Highway 2 roundabout in the small farming community of Shubenacadie, according to shell-shocked residents.David Macrae said he was working in his kitchen Sunday morning when he suddenly heard a volley of gunfire outside.“We’re used to hearing that during duck season. Guys come out and fire like there’s no tomorrow,” he said.But it’s not duck season, so Macrae wondered whether someone had set off a bunch of fireworks.“I thought ‘Somebody got bored because we’re in quarantine,’” he said.It wasn’t until a neighbour called that he realized the situation was far more serious.As he walked down his driveway he could see two cars ablaze. He said the scene was where Heidi Stevenson, the veteran RCMP constable, was killed.The two burned-out vehicles appeared to be police vehicles, he said. One of them was in the guardrail. Pieces of tire were strewn about and parts of the asphalt were melted.Macrae said residents were struggling to square Wortman’s deadly rampage with the denturist who had a reputation for kind gestures.“This guy was a monster.”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 matched video footage of a man being interviewed about dentures by CTV Atlantic in 2014.Portapique residents who spoke with media either said they did not know Wortman personally, or knew him in passing as a part-time resident who divided time between the Halifax area and his properties in the community.Trudeau says it is “heartbreak on top of heartbreak” when families whose loved ones were killed cannot gather to mourn because of the COVID-19 physical distancing rules.Trudeau says it is the same heartbreak felt by thousands of other Canadians who have lost loved ones to the virus, or to cancer or other illnesses.He says there will be a virtual vigil on Friday night for all of Canada to support the community.Premier Stephen McNeil described the massacre as “one of the most senseless acts of violence in our province’s history.”In a series of tweets, he added that all Nova S

At least 19 people dead after rampage across northern Nova Scotia, death toll expected to rise

The RCMP say a weekend killing rampage in Nova Scotia has now claimed at least 19 lives and the toll is expected to rise.

Chief Supt. Chris Leather says investigators are continuing to piece together one of Canada’s deadliest mass killings at 16 crime scenes in central and northern Nova Scotia.

He says five of the crime scenes involve burned-out buildings, and they expect more bodies to be found inside.

Leather says some of the victims were known to the killer, while others who did not know him.

The shooter, identified as 51-year-old Gabriel Wortman — who had donned a police uniform at one point — was killed after police intercepted him at a gas station in Enfield, N.S., on Sunday.

“Nova Scotia is devastated,” Halifax Mayor Mike Savage wrote online Monday morning. “As we wait for more details of this horrific crime there is an ominous silence that is unprecedented in my lifetime.”

“This will not define us as a Province, but it has shaken us to our core.”

The identities of those who died are beginning to emerge.

The victims so far include RCMP Const. Heidi Stevenson, a 23-year member of the national police force and a mother of two; Debert Elementary school teacher Lisa McCully; care assistant Kristen Beaton; Heather O’Brien, a nurse from Truro; denturist Gina Goulet, and retired firefighter Tom Bagley. Multiple members of several families were killed, among them couple Dawn Madsen and Frank Madsen; Greg Blair and Jamie Blair, parents of four; Jolene Oliver and Aaron Tuck and daughter, Emily Tuck.

“The pain comes and goes in waves. I feel like I’m outside of my own body. This can’t be real,” O’Brien’s daughter, Darcy Dobson, wrote on Facebook.

“She was kind. She was beautiful. She didn’t deserve any of this. To every single person suffering from this senseless tragedy please feel free to reach out as we are all forever connected in this horrible mess.”

Nova Scotia Teachers Union president Paul Wozney identified McCully as one of the dead in a Facebook post, saying their memberships’ “hearts are broken along with those of her colleagues and students at Debert Elementary, as well as her family and friends who knew her not only as a passionate teacher but as a shining love in their lives.”

RCMP say they were initially called to reports of a man with firearms in the small community of Portapique, N.S., on Saturday night.

There, officers found numerous people dead or wounded, both inside and outside a property. But Chief Insp. Chris Leather said Sunday that by the time police arrived, the shooter was gone.

An hours-long manhunt and eventual police chase ensued across a swath of the Maritime province, with officers providing periodic updates about the suspect’s whereabouts.

Leather said the killings appeared to be, “at least in part, very random in nature.”

Before Wortman’s final confrontation with police at an Enfield truck stop, he apparently had another encounter with police on a Highway 2 roundabout in the small farming community of Shubenacadie, according to shell-shocked residents.

David Macrae said he was working in his kitchen Sunday morning when he suddenly heard a volley of gunfire outside.

“We’re used to hearing that during duck season. Guys come out and fire like there’s no tomorrow,” he said.

But it’s not duck season, so Macrae wondered whether someone had set off a bunch of fireworks.

“I thought ‘Somebody got bored because we’re in quarantine,’” he said.

It wasn’t until a neighbour called that he realized the situation was far more serious.

As he walked down his driveway he could see two cars ablaze. He said the scene was where Heidi Stevenson, the veteran RCMP constable, was killed.

The two burned-out vehicles appeared to be police vehicles, he said. One of them was in the guardrail. Pieces of tire were strewn about and parts of the asphalt were melted.

Macrae said residents were struggling to square Wortman’s deadly rampage with the denturist who had a reputation for kind gestures.

“This guy was a monster.”

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 matched video footage of a man being interviewed about dentures by CTV Atlantic in 2014.

Portapique residents who spoke with media either said they did not know Wortman personally, or knew him in passing as a part-time resident who divided time between the Halifax area and his properties in the community.

Trudeau says it is “heartbreak on top of heartbreak” when families whose loved ones were killed cannot gather to mourn because of the COVID-19 physical distancing rules.

Trudeau says it is the same heartbreak felt by thousands of other Canadians who have lost loved ones to the virus, or to cancer or other illnesses.

He says there will be a virtual vigil on Friday night for all of Canada to support the community.

Premier Stephen McNeil described the massacre as “one of the most senseless acts of violence in our province’s history.”

In a series of tweets, he added that all Nova Scotians would be affected by the tragedy.

“It’s okay to feel sad, or angry, or hopeless,” he wrote. “But what’s not okay is to bear all of those feelings alone. Reach out to a loved one, a friend, a neighbour. And if you need more support, that’s okay too. The provincial crisis line is available 24/7: 1-888-429-8167.”

More to come

Source : Toronto Star More   

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Nova Scotia shootings: Here’s what we know so far — and what we don’t

It’s one of the worst mass killings in Canadian history, and the search for answers, for any kind of explanation for the horrific crime, is underway. RCMP are investigating the weekend shootings in northern Nova Scotia that claimed the lives of at least 19 people, including one of the police force’s constables, and ended with the death of the shooter.Here is some of what we know so far — and what we don’t.What happened?RCMP were called to reports of a man with firearms in the small community of Portapique, N.S., on Saturday night. There, officers found numerous people dead, both inside and outside a property. But the shooter was gone, police say. An hours-long manhunt ensued. Police confronted Gabriel Wortman at an Enfield truck stop. He was killed in the confrontation.Who were the victims?RCMP confirmed on Monday afternoon that 19 people are dead following the incident. Identified as victims so far are:RCMP Const. Heidi Stevenson, a 23-year member of the national police force and a mother of two; Debert Elementary school teacher Lisa McCully; Care assistant Kristen Beaton; Heather O’Brien, a nurse from Truro;Couple Dawn and Frank Madsen;Retired firefighter Tom Bagley;Parents Aaron Tuck, Jolene Oliver, and daughter Emily Tuck;Couple Greg and Jamie BlairWho was the shooter?Gabriel Wortman, 51. 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 matched video footage of a man being interviewed about dentures by CTV Atlantic in 2014.Is there any explanation yet for the killer’s actions?Police have said the killings appeared to be, “at least in part, very random in nature.” However there have also been other signs, that might suggest premeditation, including Wortman’s donning of police attire and vehicle. At one point during the evening hours, Wortman was wearing a “portion” of a police uniform, and was driving a vehicle resembling an RCMP cruiser, authorities have said.What has the response been?The community of Portapique and the province of Nova Scotia have seen an outpouring of online support in the wake of the unprecedented mass shooting, with social media users posting #NovaScotiaStrong messages Sunday and Monday. Community members have been posting tributes about the people who lost their lives. In the morning hours, several people lined up along the road near an RCMP station, practising social distancing at the same time, to show their support.What happens now?RCMP are continuing their investigation into what happened. The police watchdog is also involved. The Serious Incident Response Team has taken over the investigation of the shooting of the suspect, in addition to two separate incidents related to the manhunt, according to the RCMP. The team is responsible for investigating all serious incidents involving police in Nova Scotia, whether or not there is an allegation of wrongdoing. A public report into the incident must be filed within three months, after it is finished.

Nova Scotia shootings: Here’s what we know so far — and what we don’t

It’s one of the worst mass killings in Canadian history, and the search for answers, for any kind of explanation for the horrific crime, is underway.

RCMP are investigating the weekend shootings in northern Nova Scotia that claimed the lives of at least 19 people, including one of the police force’s constables, and ended with the death of the shooter.

Here is some of what we know so far — and what we don’t.

What happened?

RCMP were called to reports of a man with firearms in the small community of Portapique, N.S., on Saturday night. There, officers found numerous people dead, both inside and outside a property. But the shooter was gone, police say. An hours-long manhunt ensued.

Police confronted Gabriel Wortman at an Enfield truck stop. He was killed in the confrontation.

Who were the victims?

RCMP confirmed on Monday afternoon that 19 people are dead following the incident.

Identified as victims so far are:

RCMP Const. Heidi Stevenson, a 23-year member of the national police force and a mother of two;

Debert Elementary school teacher Lisa McCully;

Care assistant Kristen Beaton;

Heather O’Brien, a nurse from Truro;

Couple Dawn and Frank Madsen;

Retired firefighter Tom Bagley;

Parents Aaron Tuck, Jolene Oliver, and daughter Emily Tuck;

Couple Greg and Jamie Blair

Who was the shooter?

Gabriel Wortman, 51. 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 matched video footage of a man being interviewed about dentures by CTV Atlantic in 2014.

Is there any explanation yet for the killer’s actions?

Police have said the killings appeared to be, “at least in part, very random in nature.” However there have also been other signs, that might suggest premeditation, including Wortman’s donning of police attire and vehicle. At one point during the evening hours, Wortman was wearing a “portion” of a police uniform, and was driving a vehicle resembling an RCMP cruiser, authorities have said.

What has the response been?

The community of Portapique and the province of Nova Scotia have seen an outpouring of online support in the wake of the unprecedented mass shooting, with social media users posting #NovaScotiaStrong messages Sunday and Monday. Community members have been posting tributes about the people who lost their lives. In the morning hours, several people lined up along the road near an RCMP station, practising social distancing at the same time, to show their support.

What happens now?

RCMP are continuing their investigation into what happened. The police watchdog is also involved. The Serious Incident Response Team has taken over the investigation of the shooting of the suspect, in addition to two separate incidents related to the manhunt, according to the RCMP. The team is responsible for investigating all serious incidents involving police in Nova Scotia, whether or not there is an allegation of wrongdoing. A public report into the incident must be filed within three months, after it is finished.

Source : Toronto Star More   

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