Mass killer's face revealed as 17 shot dead in Canada

 

A Canadian who went on a shooting rampage across the northern part of the Nova Scotia province, killing 17 people, has been shot dead.

The suspect was identified as Gabriel Wortman, 51, who was found by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in a petrol station in Enfield, Nova Scotia, northwest of downtown Halifax.

The suspect at the patrol station in Enfield, Nova Scotia. Picture: Tim Krochak/The Canadian Press via AP
The suspect at the patrol station in Enfield, Nova Scotia. Picture: Tim Krochak/The Canadian Press via AP

 

"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."

Brian Sauve, 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 Constable Heidi Stevenson, a mother of two and a 23-year-old veteran of the force.

Police have not provided a motive for the attack.

By late morning, there were half a dozen police vehicles at the scene.

Yellow police tape surrounded the gas pumps, and a large silver-coloured SUV was being investigated.

Police block the highway in Enfield. Picture: Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press via AP
Police block the highway in Enfield. Picture: Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press via AP

The incident started in the small, rural town of Portapique, with police advising residents to lock their homes and stay in their basements. Several building fires were reported by residents as well, but police didn't immediately confirm details.

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

He said it was an additional "heavy burden" amid efforts to contain the new coronavirus, and that police will announce further details later.

Police stated earlier 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 was not an RCMP employee or officer.

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

"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," Mills said.

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

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.

Mills also said that Wortman was known locally as a denturist who divided his time between a residence in Halifax and a residence in Portapique.

Gabriel Wortman. Picture: RCMP Nova Scotia
Gabriel Wortman. Picture: RCMP Nova Scotia

 

 

Originally published as At least 10 killed in horror mass shooting