The brother of a man who was murdered in the Nova Scotia mass shooting told the CBC he hid for four hours in the woods after being followed by the gunman on Saturday night.
Clinton Ellison and his brother Corrie, 42, had been spending the night at their dad’s place in Portapique, where the rampage that ended in 22 people dead started. The gunman, who is dead, carried out his attack over 12 hours while wearing an authentic police uniform and driving a replica RCMP car.
In a harrowing video interview, Clinton said he and his brother heard a gunshot around 10 p.m. Saturday. Soon after, they noticed a large fire coming from up the road. Corrie went to check out the fire, and eventually phoned his brother saying he should call the fire department, Clinton said.
“We waited and we waited and we waited and I walked up the road looking for my brother with a flashlight,” Clinton said.
He said he could see a body laying on the side of the road. As he got closer, he realized it was his brother Corrie, who was bleeding and not moving.
“I shut my flashlight off, I turned around, and I ran for my life in the dark,” Clinton said.
He turned off onto the first road he came across and stopped at a bend, exhausted.
“I turned around and looked down towards the road I had just run from to see a little flashlight flashing around, looking for me,” Clinton continued. “I ran so hard into the woods. I laid there for…four hours hoping and praying that the police would come.”
“It was a nightmare through hell,” Clinton said.
Police have yet to release an official list of victims. They are investigating 16 crime scenes in Portapique and other areas in the central and northern parts of the province. The crime scenes include burned down residences and cars.
As he lay in the woods, “all I could hear was explosions from the fires and gunshots coming from all around me,” Clinton said.
About an hour into hiding, he said he pulled his cellphone out and warned his dad to turn his lights off, hide, and call the cops. He instructed his dad not to call him back because he didn’t want his phone to go off.
Finally he said police got him out of the woods with an armoured vehicle.
He said he had to recover from hypothermia after because he was so cold.
Clinton said his brother Corrie was the type of person who would help out anyone if he could, and that’s what cost him his life.
Clinton strongly condemned how police responded to the massacre. He said an emergency alert should have been put out to warn people of what was going on and save lives.
“I hid in the woods for about four hours staring up at the sky, freezing to death, looking for red flashing lights that never came,” he said. “People were in there burning to death and dying. It took hours for a response? That’s not right.”
He said he remains terrified.
"To walk up and find my brother dead, and to be hunted by this fella that killed all these people, I'll be traumatized for the rest of my life."
In a press conference Wednesday, RCMP Chief Supt. Chris Leather said police were in the process of crafting an emergency alert when the gunman was shot and killed by police on Sunday morning.