In what is now Canada’s worst mass shooting, at least 19 people in Nova Scotia are dead including the suspected gunman and a female RCMP officer. RCMP located the suspect, 51 year old Gabriel Wortman, Sunday at an Irving service station in Enfield after police said there were “multiple victims” in an incident that began in the small coastal village of Portapique on the Minas Basin. In a news conference today police said the rampage included five dwellings destroyed by fire and for that reason they are unable to say if there will end up being even more fatalities. The officer who died was Heidi Stevenson a mother of two. Another victim that has been identified by family members is Lisa McCully, a grade 3 and 4 teacher. “Our hearts are broken today as we attempt to accept the loss of my sister, Lisa McCully, who was one of the victims of the mass shooting in Portapique last night,” said her sister Jenny Kierstead, Police say there was an exchange of gunfire with Wortman. A second RCMP officer received injuries but is expected to recover. Police say Wortman at one point in the evening was wearing a police uniform and driving a car that was made to look like a police car. Police say the rampage spread to other communities in the province.
The incident stated with police receiving multiple 911 calls in Portapique about 40 Kilometres west of Truro. Pol;ice say the suspect was wearing a police uniform and driving what appeared to be a pol;ice cruiser.
By late morning local time the scene was surrounded by a half dozen police vehicles. Yellow police tape surrounded the gas pumps, and a large silver-coloured SUV was being investigated by police.
Residents of the community about 40 kilometres west of Truro were told to lock their homes and stay in their basements.
Several building fires were reported by residents as well and today Police confirmed that five dwellings were burned to the ground. Photos show two police cars that have been torched. Forensic crews are sifting the rubble to see if there may be more fatalities.
A local resident said that Wortman was known locally as a denturist who divided his time between a residence in Halifax and a residence in Portapique. He reportedly owned a “lovely big home” on Portapique Beach Road. Wortman was said to own a few other properties in the community and was believed to divide his time between Portapique and his business in Dartmouth. People who knew Wortman said he was obsessed with the RCMP and had purchased several retired police vehicles and had restored them. He also collected police paraphernalia.