News

Nova Scotia Shooting Suspect Dead: Report

Media reports also state that an RCMP officer was killed in the shooting spree.
April 19, 2020, 3:35pm
A man, who police warned could be dressed like an RCMP officer, has been arrested following an “active shooting situation” in rural Nova Scotia.
Photos via RCMP

The man who went on a shooting spree in Nova Scotia was shot dead by the RCMP, Global News is reporting.

The outlet is reporting that 51-year-old Gabriel Wortman, who police said may have been dressed like an RCMP officer, was shot and killed Sunday morning after a highway pursuit. This comes despite several tweets by the RCMP that said Wortman was taken into custody. Global News is also reporting that several police officers were shot and one was killed in the situation.

Police are holding a press conference at 6 p.m. Atlantic time.

Police have only said there were multiple victims as a result of the shooting, but have not clarified if there have been any fatalities. Nova Scotia RCMP has identified the suspect as 51-year-old Gabriel Wortman. They described the shooting suspect earlier as “a white man, bald, 6’2-6’3 with green eyes” and possibly wearing an RCMP uniform.

Police said Wortman is not employed by the RCMP.

The shooting began near the rural central Nova Scotia community of Portapique, which is about 40 km west of the town of Truro. RCMP first alerted the public on Saturday night when they responded to a firearms call and asked people in the small community to “stay in their homes with doors locked at this time.”

This changed Sunday morning when police said that it had become an “active shooting situation”—which lasted about three hours until the suspect was arrested. The RCMP warned that Wortman may have been dressed in police blues and driving what looked to be RCMP vehicle, even going as far as tweeting out an image of the particular car he was in.

“Gabriel Wortman may be driving what appears to be an RCMP vehicle & may be wearing an RCMP uniform,” tweeted Nova Scotia RCMP. “There's 1 difference btwn his car and our RCMP vehicles: the car #. The suspect's car is 28B11, behind the rear passenger window.”

Throughout Sunday morning, police tweeted and sent out briefings updating the public on where Wortman was. The final RCMP update on Wortman’s location was in Milford, over 80 kilometres from where the situation started. Police advised the public the situation was resolved shortly before 11 A.M. EST.

CBC spoke to a man in Portapique who said that he saw multiple house fires in the location but police have not confirmed his claims. According to Global News, a man with Wortman’s name owns multiple properties including a denture clinic in Dartmouth.

Several witnesses have posted images online of burning police cruisers in the small Nova Scotia town of Shubenacadie. One witness who viewed the shooting spree told the CBC, she and her friend came across two burning police cruisers Sunday morning and heard gunshots.

"We were right behind the police car that was on fire. There was one officer we could see on scene and then all of a sudden, he went running toward one of the burning vehicles," Darcy Sack told CBC. "We heard gunshots."

"I had that feeling that something was wrong with the [police officer's] partner — the way he looked.”

In his Sunday press conference, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed the shootings.

“My heart goes out to everyone affected in what is a terrible situation,” said Trudeau. “I want to thank the police for their hard work and people for cooperating with authorities.”

Follow Mack Lamoureux on Twitter.