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Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers prepare to take a person into custody at a gas station in Enfield, Nova Scotia. Tim Krochak/PA via PA Images
nova scotia

At least 16 people dead following shooting in Canada

The suspect is also dead, police have confirmed.

LAST UPDATE | 20 Apr 2020

AT LEAST 16 people have been killed after a 51-year-old man went on a shooting rampage across the northern part of Nova Scotia, Canadian police have said.

It is the deadliest such attack in Canadian history.

The man was identified as Gabriel Wortman and authorities said he disguised himself as a police officer in uniform at one point and mocked up a car to make it seem like a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) vehicle.

He was arrested by the RCMP in a petrol station in Enfield, north west of capital Halifax. Police later announced that he had died.

“In excess of 10 people have been killed,” RCMP Chief Superintendent Chris Leather said earlier.

“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.”

Police officer among the dead

Brian Sauve, president of the National Police Federation union, said a police officer was among those killed in a shooting and another was injured.

“Our hearts are heavy with grief and sadness today as we have lost one of our own,” said Sauve said. “A second dedicated member was injured in the line of duty.”

Police have not provided a motive for the attack.

By late morning yesterday, there were half a dozen police vehicles at the scene. Yellow police tape surrounded the petrol pumps, and a large silver-coloured SUV was being investigated by police.

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.


“I never imagined when I went to bed last night that I would wake up to the horrific news that an active shooter was on the loose in Nova Scotia,″ Nova Scotia premier Stephen McNeil said.

“This is one of the most senseless acts of violence in our province’s history,” he said.

He said it was an additional “heavy burden” amid efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19.

Lisa Croteau, a spokeswoman with the provincial force, said police received a call about “a person with firearms” at around 10.30pm on 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.

Tom Taggart, a lawmaker who represents the Portapique area in the municipality of Colchester, said the quiet community has been shaken.

“This is just an absolutely wonderful, peaceful quiet community and the idea that this could happen in our community is unbelievable,″ Taggart said by phone from his home in Bass River, near the lockdown area.

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