Nova Scotia taking pictures: gunman evaded Canada police for almost 12 hours after killing no less than 18

The shooter, who at one level was driving a car resembling a police cruiser, is believed to have pulled over random motorists earlier than killing them, a legislation enforcement official aware of the investigation advised CNN.

When the manhunt ended about 12 hours later, the 51-year-old gunman had killed 18 folks, together with a police constable, a corrections officer, a nurse and a instructor.

One other police officer was injured, police stated, and in Shubenacadie, there have been studies of gunshots and torched police automobiles, in response to considered one of CNN’s media companions.

The gunman, recognized as Gabriel Wortman, left a path of 16 crime scenes that authorities are nonetheless working to course of, officers say. The dying toll might rise, police stated.

“We’re unable to completely study the crime scenes as a result of, for example, now we have had 5 construction fires, most of these being residences, and we imagine there could also be victims nonetheless inside the stays of these houses which burnt to the bottom,” stated Chris Leather-based, a Royal Canadian Mounted Police chief superintendent and felony operations officer in Nova Scotia.

Wortman was killed in a shootout with police in Enfield, about 60 miles from the preliminary crime scene, Leather-based stated.

The motive behind the taking pictures, considered one of Canada’s deadliest, is below investigation, Leather-based stated. Wortman knew a few of his victims, police stated, whereas others had been strangers.

23-year veteran of RCMP killed

A type of killed was Constable Heidi Stevenson. One other officer was hospitalized, the RCMP stated on Fb. The injured officer is recovering from gunshot wounds at house, police stated.

“It’s with great disappointment that I share with you that we misplaced Cst. Heidi Stevenson, a 23-year veteran of the drive,” stated Lee Bergerman, the RCMP’s commanding officer in Nova Scotia.”Two youngsters have misplaced their mom and a husband his spouse. Mother and father misplaced their daughter and numerous others misplaced an unbelievable buddy and colleague.”

The chaos started when police had been first known as to a “firearms grievance” at a Portapique property Saturday at 10:30 p.m. (9:30 p.m. ET).

Constable Heidi Stevenson had two children, police say.

“When police arrived on the scene, the members positioned a number of casualties inside and out of doors of the house,” Leather-based stated.

Investigators imagine the incident started with a home violence incident at a house in Portapique, the place Wortman was looking for his former vital different, the legislation enforcement supply aware of the investigation stated.

Wortman killed two folks there earlier than he fled, the supply stated.

The gunman was sporting both an RCMP uniform or a convincing duplicate, whereas driving a automobile that seemed to be a police car, Leather-based stated. Wortman was not employed by the RCMP, authorities stated.

Wortman killed drivers he pulled over, supply says

Upon fleeing the Portapique residence, it’s believed that Wortman started pulling over random motorists and executing them, the legislation enforcement supply stated. After the gunman was concerned in a visitors accident, he ditched the pretend police cruiser and stole a car from a motorist, the supply stated.

“His potential to maneuver across the province undetected was certainly enormously benefited by the truth that he had a car that regarded an identical in each solution to a marked police automobile,” Leather-based stated. “He was sporting a police uniform which, as I say, was both an excellent fabrication of or really a police uniform. That certainly contributed to his potential to flow into.”

Wortman was a talented mechanic and loved automobiles and bikes, neighbor BIll McCormack advised CNN media companion CTV Information. Wortman had just lately purchased two used police automobiles — which McCormack described as “mountie automobiles” — and saved them behind a clinic the place he labored, he advised the station.

“I by no means requested him about it,” McCormack stated.

After the preliminary discover {that a} gunman was on the unfastened, police warned residents to keep away from a campground in Glenholme, about 15 miles east of Portapique.

Police first requested the general public to be looking out for the bogus police cruiser in Debert mid-morning Sunday.

One of many 18 victims, elementary college educator Lisa McCully, labored at Debert Elementary Faculty, in response to the Nova Scotia Academics’ Union, which described her a “passionate instructor” and a “shining love” in her mates’ and household’s lives.

Wortman was later seen in Central Onslow and farther south in Brookfield, the place police up to date the suspect’s car description to a silver Chevy Tracker.

‘Oh my God, lock the doorways! He is right here!’

Wortman was concerned in a “critical felony occasion” in Shubenacadie, about 15 miles south of Brookfield, the RCMP’s Critical Incident Response Staff stated.

Witnesses recalled listening to a number of gunshots within the space, in response to CTV Information.

A number of burned-out automobiles, which can have been police cruisers, sat alongside the freeway, the station reported.

“I hear the photographs and … there is a man operating backwards and forwards up beside what seems to be a police car,” a witness on the scene advised the station. “Then after a brief bit I noticed fireplace.”

Although it is not clear the place Constable Stevenson was killed, she and one other officer tried to run Wortman’s car off the street at one level, the legislation enforcement supply aware of the investigation advised CNN. Stevenson was killed and the opposite officer was injured in an ensuing alternate of gunfire, the supply stated.

Gabriel Wortman was killed in a shootout, police say.

Following the incident in Shubenacadie, Wortman continued south to Milford and was finally discovered at a truck cease in Enfield between 11 a.m. and midday Sunday, about 12 hours after the preliminary 911 name to police.

Truck driver Tom Nurani was on the truck cease when he heard a workers member frantically shouting, he advised CTV Information.

“‘Oh my God, lock the doorways! He is right here!'” Nurani recalled the lady saying. “I peek out of the window, and I noticed some RCMP automobiles, and there was 4 or 5 uniforms with weapons.”

Witness Glen Hines was driving previous when he heard gunfire, he advised the station.

“All I may hear was gunshots and my spouse. I believed I used to be going to name 911 as a result of she was going into panic, it scared her so unhealthy,” Hines stated.

Politicians reply to taking pictures rampage

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil known as the taking pictures spree “one of the mindless acts of violence in our province’s historical past.”

“I by no means imagined after I went to mattress final night time that I might get up to the horrific information that an energetic shooter was on the unfastened in Nova Scotia,” he stated.

“Our hearts exit to everybody affected by the taking pictures,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted.

“To the Portapique neighborhood, we’re maintaining all of you in our ideas. And on behalf of all Canadians, I would like you to know that we’re right here for you — and we’ll be right here for you within the days and weeks forward,” he stated.

Orders issued to guard the general public through the Covid-19 pandemic will forestall Canadians from mourning in individual, he stated, however a digital vigil is scheduled for Friday.

The Nationwide Police Federation is “working exhausting to make sure all our members and their households are supported,” federation president Brian Sauvé stated.

“We’re there for them now and will probably be there for them for the approaching days and months as they work via this tragedy,” Sauvé stated. “As Canadians, we’re extraordinarily lucky these incidents are usually not frequent.”

A press release issued by the White Home stated President Donald Trump and first woman Melania Trump expressed their condolences.

“America and Canada share a particular, enduring bond. As mates and neighbors, we are going to all the time stand with each other via our most attempting instances and best challenges,” the assertion stated. “America strongly condemns these murders, and our prayers are with the victims and their households.”

Trudeau guarantees to toughen gun legal guidelines

On Monday, Trudeau stated his administration will transfer forward with stricter gun legal guidelines.

“With reference to gun management, we took very critical commitments within the election marketing campaign and have moved ahead — and are shifting ahead on them — to make sure that we’re strengthening gun management on this nation,” Trudeau advised reporters, in response to CTV.
Whereas campaigning final 12 months, Trudeau stated he wished to ban assault-style rifles and arrange a buyback program for all military-grade weapons that had been legally bought.

Authorities haven’t stated what sort of weapons the gunman utilized in Nova Scotia.

“I can say that we had been on the verge of introducing laws to ban assault-style weapons throughout this nation; it was interrupted when the pandemic precipitated Parliament to be suspended,” Trudeau stated.

CORRECTION: This story has been up to date to mirror the suspect drove two completely different automobiles whereas on the run.

CNN’s Amir Vera, Josh Campbell, Artemis Moshtaghian, Susannah Cullinane, Madeline Holcombe, Laura Ly and Kristina Sgueglia contributed to this report.

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