WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- A 51-year-old man went on a shooting spree on Sunday across the northern part of Nova Scotia, Canada, killing 16 people, including a policewoman.
- Police authorities could not yet identify the motive for the attack but would investigate if it had something to do with the coronavirus outbreak.
- According to Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil, this incident is “one of the most senseless acts of violence” in the province and was an additional “heavy burden” amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Gabriel Wortman, a 51-year-old man, did a shooting spree on Sunday across the northern part of Nova Scotia, a province in Canada — killing 16 people including a policewoman. Authorities said that Wortman was also dead.
According to officials, the suspected shooter disguised himself as a uniformed police officer and had a mocked-up Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) cruiser; but later on, officials realized that he was actually “driving a small, silver Chevrolet SUV” and was not an RCMP personnel.
The incident started in Portapique, a small rural town. Wortman was later arrested in a gas station in Enfield, Nova Scotia, by the RCMP. He was later announced dead.
RCMP Chief Superintendent Chris Leather said, “In excess of 10 people have been killed… 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.”
Heidi Stevenson, a policewoman and a mother of two, was among those who died in the incident, according to Brian Sauvé, president of the National Police Federation union. Another officer also got injured.
Police officials said that many of the victims did not know Wortman so they could not identify yet the motive for the killing. Leather said they would investigate if it had anything to do with the coronavirus outbreak.
Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil said, “This is one of the most senseless acts of violence in our province’s history.” It was an additional “heavy burden” on top of the measurements
toin mitigating COVID-19, he added.
Spokesperson Cpl. Lisa Croteau said police received a call about “a person with firearms” at around 10:30 Saturday evening and the investigation “evolved into an active shooting investigation.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, “My heart goes out to everyone affected in what is a terrible situation.”
Christine Mills, a resident of Portapique, said it had been a frightening night for them. She said that Wortman was locally known as a denturist with residence in both Halifax and Portapique.
Tom Taggart, a lawmaker representing the Portapique area in the Municipality of Colchester, said the quiet community has been shaken. He did not know Wortman well but they were able to speak a few times about municipal issues.