- The death toll surpasses the 1989 Ecole Polytechnique massacre in Montreal, whereby a gunman killed 14 women.
- The police confirmed that the attacker, 51-year-old Gabriel Wortman, was intercepted by police in Enfield, Novia Scotia and killed.
- Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil called the shooting “one of the most senseless acts of violence in our province’s history.”
At least 19 people have been killed in a 12-hour shooting spree in Portapique, Nova Scotia, in Canada. Among the dead is a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Constable Heidi Stevenson, who had responded to the call of duty. The attack, carried out by a lone gunman, is considered the deadliest in the country’s history.
The death toll surpasses the 1989 Ecole Polytechnique massacre in Montreal, whereby a gunman killed 14 women. Nova Scotia RCMP Chief Superintendent Chris Leather said on Monday that there were over 19 victims, and they are expecting to identify more as the investigations continue.
“We’re confident that we have identified all the crime scenes, however, we’ve been unable to full examine the crime scenes because, for instance, we have had five structure fires, most of them being residences,” Leather said. “We believe there may be victims still with the remains of those homes.”
The police confirmed that the attacker, 51-year-old Gabriel Wortman, was intercepted by police in Enfield, Novia Scotia and killed. Wortman, who lived in Portapique part-time, is said to have disguised himself as a police officer and made his car look like an RCMP cruiser. He is believed to have targeted his first victim where several bodies were found inside and outside the home before he started attacking randomly.
According to the police, the suspect, who wore a portion of the police uniform, was never employed by the RMCP. As he was being pursued, Wortman changed cars and was seen driving a silver Chevrolet Tracker. The police said that the suspect left victims scattered across multiple crime scenes in different communities in a rampage that began late Saturday and spilled over to Sunday.
Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil called the shooting “one of the most senseless acts of violence in our province’s history.” He reminded the residents to keep a distance due to coronavirus as they mourn and heal. Nova Scotia’s Chief public health officer, Dr. Robert Strang, reiterated the same. “While we want to mourn and come together as communities, we need to do that in a way that does not create an environment for COVID-19 to spread further.”
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, said in a statement that he was saddened by the incident. “Our hearts go out to the people who have lost loved ones and the RCMP family mourning a fallen officer,” Trudeau said.
The Nova Scotia Teacher Union (NSTU) confirmed in a statement that Lisa McCully, a teacher at Debert Elementary, was also a victim of the shooting. “9,300 hearts of NTSU 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,” the statement said.