World America 20 Apr 2020 Gunman disguised as ...

Gunman disguised as cop kills 16 in shooting rampage in Canada

AP
Published Apr 20, 2020, 8:57 am IST
Updated Apr 20, 2020, 1:09 pm IST
While they believe the attack did not begin as random, police did not say what the initial motive was
Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers surround a suspect at a gas station in Enfield, Nova Scotia on Sunday. AP Photo
 Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers surround a suspect at a gas station in Enfield, Nova Scotia on Sunday. AP Photo

Toronto: A gunman disguised as a police officer went on a rampage across the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, shooting people in their homes and setting fires, leaving 16 people dead Sunday, in the deadliest such attack in the country's history.

Officials said the suspected shooter was also dead. A police officer was among those killed. Several bodies were found inside and outside one home in the small, rural town of Portapique, about 100 kilometres north of Halifax — what police called the first scene.

 

Bodies were also found at other locations. Authorities believe the shooter may have targeted his first victims but then began attacking randomly.

Overnight, police began advising residents of the town — already on lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic — to lock their doors and stay in their basements. Several homes in the area were set on fire as well.

Police identified the man believed to be the shooter as Gabriel Wortman, 51, who was thought to live part-time in Portapique. Authorities said he wore a police uniform at one point and made his car look like a Royal Canadian Mounted Police cruiser.

 

Police first announced that they had arrested Wortman at a gas station in Enfield, outside Halifax, but later said he had died. It was not clear how, and they did not explain further.

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

RCMP spokesman Daniel Brien confirmed that 16 people had been killed in addition to the suspect. The dead officer was identified as Constable Heidi Stevenson, a mother of two and a 23-year veteran of the force. Another officer was also injured.

 

Mass shootings are relatively rare in Canada. The country overhauled its gun-control laws after gunman Marc Lepine killed 14 women and himself at Montreal's Ecole Polytechnique college in 1989. Before this weekend's rampage, that had been the country's worst.

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