More fatalities have been confirmed in the Nova Scotia mass shooting, bringing the toll to 17, including the gunman. Here’s what we know so far about the sickening attack, now deemed the deadliest in Canadian history.
- The rampage began around 11:30pm Saturday night, when the Royal Canadian Mounted Police responded to a “firearms complaint”in the rural town of Portapique and found an unspecified number of casualties at the scene, but no suspect. Police declared an active shooter situation and launched a manhunt, with armed officers patrolling the streets through the night and helicopters joining the search in the morning.
- The lone suspect was identified as Gabriel Wortman, 51, a part-time resident of Portapique who was also listed as a denturist and owned several properties in Dartmouth, Halifax.
- He made his car look like a Royal Canadian Mounted Police cruiser and wore a police uniform, which indicates the attack wasn’t totally spontaneous.
- While his initial motive remains unclear, authorities believe the attacker knew and may have targeted his first victims, but then began attacking complete strangers randomly.
- The chase for the suspect, who changed vehicles at least once, went along one of Nova Scotia province’s busiest highways and ended near a gas station 35 kilometers north of Halifax around noon Sunday.
- Following a gunfight with police, the gunman was “detained”but soon proclaimed “deceased,” authorities said, sharing no further details.
- Heidi Stevenson, a 23-year veteran of the RCMP and mother of two, was killed responding to the active shooter incident, while another RCMP officer is in the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
- At least 15 more people, besides the attacker and the officer, lost their lives, but their identities were not revealed. One of the victims was informally identified by her sister as Lisa McCully, an elementary school teacher and a volunteer at the Berwick bible camp.
- The Nova Scotia massacre has become the deadliest mass killing in the history of Canada, overshadowing the 1989 mass shooting at Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique college, which led to tighter gun controls. Earlier, authorities warned that there might be even more victims as the investigation is ongoing and involves “multiple”crime scenes, some with “structures on fire.”