UPDATE – At least 19 people, including a 23-year member of the RCMP and the suspected 51-year-old gunman are dead across Nova Scotia, after Canada’s deadliest mass shootings on record.
The investigation is still in its early stages, but what we do know is that the horror began late Saturday night in the community of Portapique, about 133 kilometers north of Halifax.
Police found numerous casualties at a residence in the community and several fires in the area and continued to follow the shooter south towards Halifax while coming across numerous crime scenes with causalities.
Residents in numerous communities and surrounding rurals were told to stay inside and lock their doors as the rampage continued into Sunday morning.
Officers also learned the suspected shooter, 51-year-old Gabriel Wortman, was spotted at one point in a mock RCMP cruiser and wearing an RCMP uniform, police say Wortman was not employed by the RCMP in any capacity.
Police confronted the suspect late Sunday morning at a truck stop gas station in Enfield, about 37 kilometers north of Halifax, where he was shot dead following an interaction with officers.
As mentioned, among the victims is a 23-year member of the RCMP, CST. Heidi Stevenson, who was also a mother of two.
— RCMP, Nova Scotia (@RCMPNS) April 19, 2020
Stevenson was shot and killed Sunday morning while responding to the incident, another officer was also treated for minor injuries.
An elementary school teacher is the second victim of the mass killing to be identified.
Lisa McCully worked at Debert Elementary, in the area where there were shootings and several fires set on Saturday night.
Investigators have not ruled out finding more victims as they continue to piece together what happened and look for a possible motive.
Not many details are known about Wortman at this time, other than he was a denturist who owned and operated a clinic in Dartmouth, he graduated high school in New Brunswick.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the act this morning during his daily COVID-19 briefing, saying violence of any kind has no place in Canada.
Trudeau told reporters Monday morning the pandemic will prevent people from mourning together in person.
“A vigil will be held virtually to celebrate the lives of the victims at 7:00 PM on Friday through the Facebook group Colchester Supporting Our Community,” Trudeau said. “As we learn more about what happened (Sunday), it’s important that we come together to support communities.”