At least 16 killed in Canada’s worst-ever shooting rampage

HALIFAX: A gunman who drove a mock-up police car killed at least 16 people in a shooting rampage, federal police said Sunday, the worst case of its kind in Canadian history.
The shooter, identified as Gabriel Wortman, aged 51, was shot dead by officers after a 12-hour manhunt in Nova Scotia province ended Sunday morning. Police said the suspect had been on the run since Saturday night, when officers were alerted to shots fired in the town of Portapique, around 100 kilometers from Halifax.
Among the victims was a veteran female constable with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which also handles municipal and provincial law enforcement in the province. The killings were the country’s worst-ever exceeding the toll in 1989 when a gunman murdered 14 female students in Montreal.
Canadian public broadcaster quoted RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki confirming at least 16 victims, besides the shooter. “What has unfolded overnight and into this morning is incomprehensible and many families are experiencing the loss of a loved one,” Nova Scotia RCMP Commanding Officer, Assistant Commissioner Lee Bergerman, wrote on the force’s local Facebook page.
“That includes our own RCMP family. It is with tremendous sadness that I share with you that we lost Constable Heidi Stevenson, a 23-year veteran of the Force who was killed this morning, while responding to an active shooter incident.”
In addition to Stevenson, a male officer was injured and is in hospital with non-life threatening injuries, Bergerman said, while another victim was an elementary school teacher. Several victims were discovered both outside and inside a house in Portapique, sparking the manhunt through multiple communities, police said.
“The search for the suspect ended this morning when the suspect was located. And I can confirm that he is deceased,” RCMP Chief Superintendent Chris Leather told a press conference. Leather said the suspect appeared to be wearing part of a police uniform and was driving a vehicle made to look like an RCMP cruiser.
Another police spokesperson said that the gunman was killed after an officer intervened. Police said they had no indication of a motive. Lucki told local media there was no indication of terrorist intent.
“What I would say is that it appears to be at least in part, very random in nature,” said Leather. “We are in the early stages of an incredibly detailed and complex investigation that has forever changed countless lives,” he said.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement that he “was saddened to learn about the senseless violence in Nova Scotia,” and he hopes for a full recovery of the wounded.
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