Gunman, 51, who disguised himself as a cop kills 16 people

Suspected gunman Gabriel Wortman, 51, is dead after a Saturday night shooting spree in Portapique, Nova Scotia, Canada

Suspected gunman Gabriel Wortman, 51, is dead after a Saturday night shooting spree in Portapique, Nova Scotia, Canada

Suspected gunman Gabriel Wortman, 51, is dead after a Saturday night shooting spree in Portapique, Nova Scotia, Canada 

A gunman disguised as a police officer shot dead 16 people in Canada Sunday after going on a 12 hour rampage,  shooting his victims in their homes and setting fires.  

It was the deadliest such attack in the country’s history. Officials said the suspected shooter, Gabriel Wortman, 51, was also dead.   

Sources told CTV News that the gunman was killed by police following his 12 hour rampage. 

A police officer was among those killed. Several bodies were found inside and outside one home in the small, rural town of Portapique, about 60 miles north of Halifax — what police called the first scene. 

Bodies were also found at other locations. Authorities believe the shooter may have targeted his first victims but then began attacking randomly.  

Among the dead is Royal Canadian Mounted Police member Const. Heidi Stevenson, a 23-year member of the force and a mother-of-two. 

Two to three others were injured and are being treated at a local hospital, including another Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer.   

Wortman’s deadly rampage lasted 12 hours as he went around Nova Scotia in a police uniform killing people, with his victims appearing to be random, police said. They also confirmed at one point he was driving what appeared to be a police vehicle. 

The tragedy ended shortly before noon local time, when police said Wortman was located at a gas station around 60 miles south of where the shootings occurred. 

Police did not clarify the nature of Wortman’s death, but photos showed several armed officers surrounding a car at a gas station and a body was later taken from the scene. 

So far, police have not released a motive or explained how Wortman was able to obtain the police uniform or car that resembled a police vehicle. 

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Constable Heidi Stevenson, who was shot and killed by a gunman

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Constable Heidi Stevenson, who was shot and killed by a gunman

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Constable Heidi Stevenson, who was shot and killed by a gunman

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Constable Heidi Stevenson, who was shot and killed by a gunman

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Constable Heidi Stevenson, who was shot and killed by a gunman. She was a 23-year member of the force and a mother-of-two

Wortman's deadly rampage lasted 12 hours as he went around Nova Scotia in a police uniform killing people, with his victims appearing to be random, police said. They also confirmed at one point he was driving what appeared to be a police vehicle. Shortly before 12pm local time, police said they had Wortman in custody, as photos showed several armed officers surrounding a car at a gas station

Wortman's deadly rampage lasted 12 hours as he went around Nova Scotia in a police uniform killing people, with his victims appearing to be random, police said. They also confirmed at one point he was driving what appeared to be a police vehicle. Shortly before 12pm local time, police said they had Wortman in custody, as photos showed several armed officers surrounding a car at a gas station

Wortman’s deadly rampage lasted 12 hours as he went around Nova Scotia in a police uniform killing people, with his victims appearing to be random, police said. They also confirmed at one point he was driving what appeared to be a police vehicle. Shortly before 12pm local time, police said they had Wortman in custody, as photos showed several armed officers surrounding a car at a gas station

Police did not clarify the nature of Wortman's death, but photos showed several armed officers surrounding a car at a gas station and a body was later taken from the scene

Police did not clarify the nature of Wortman's death, but photos showed several armed officers surrounding a car at a gas station and a body was later taken from the scene

Police did not clarify the nature of Wortman’s death, but photos showed several armed officers surrounding a car at a gas station and a body was later taken from the scene 

Describing the scene as 'chaotic,' officials said at least 16 people were killed across multiple locations in the small town. The number could grow during the search of other crime scenes

Describing the scene as 'chaotic,' officials said at least 16 people were killed across multiple locations in the small town. The number could grow during the search of other crime scenes

Describing the scene as ‘chaotic,’ officials said at least 16 people were killed across multiple locations in the small town. The number could grow during the search of other crime scenes 

A Gabriel Wortman is listed as a denturist in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, a person who makes dentures, according to the Denturist Society of Nova Scotia website. 

A suspect photo issued by the RCMP matches video footage of a man being interviewed about dentures by CTV Atlantic in 2014. 

At the press conference on Sunday, Assistant Commissioner Lee Bergerman confirmed the deaths of the civilians and officer Stevenson, saying: ‘Heidi answered the call of duty and lost her life while protecting those she served. Earlier this afternoon I met with Heidi’s family and there are no words to describe their pain.

‘Two children have lost their mother. And a husband has lost his wife. Parents have lost their daughter and countless others lost an incredible friend and colleague.’  

Although no official details about the civilian victims have been released at this time, DailyMail.com has identified at least one victim.

Family members paid tribute to Corrie Ellison on Sunday afternoon, with his cousin Juliene Henderson writing: ‘Tragic and surreal..RIP to my cousin Corrie and to the several others killed. Just texted him this AM to see if his Dad was ok (his Dad lived in portique) ..not knowing he was out there and already killed. ‘

Local resident Dave Brown was seen putting up a memorial for the community after the shootings, nearby the road where the shootings occurred.   

A Gabriel Wortman is listed as a denturist in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, according to the Denturist Society of Nova Scotia website. A suspect photo issued by the RCMP matches video footage of a man being interviewed about dentures by CTV Atlantic in 2014

A Gabriel Wortman is listed as a denturist in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, according to the Denturist Society of Nova Scotia website. A suspect photo issued by the RCMP matches video footage of a man being interviewed about dentures by CTV Atlantic in 2014

A Gabriel Wortman is listed as a denturist in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, according to the Denturist Society of Nova Scotia website. A suspect photo issued by the RCMP matches video footage of a man being interviewed about dentures by CTV Atlantic in 2014

Two to three others were injured and are being treated at a local hospital, including another Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer

Two to three others were injured and are being treated at a local hospital, including another Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer

Two to three others were injured and are being treated at a local hospital, including another Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer 

Local resident Dave Brown was seen putting up a memorial for the community after the shootings, nearby the road where the shootings occurred

Local resident Dave Brown was seen putting up a memorial for the community after the shootings, nearby the road where the shootings occurred

Local resident Dave Brown was seen putting up a memorial for the community after the shootings, nearby the road where the shootings occurred

Mass shootings are relatively rare in Canada. The country overhauled its gun-control laws after gunman Marc Lepine killed 14 women and himself at Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique college in 1989. 

Before this weekend’s rampage, that had been the country’s worst.  

It is now illegal to possess an unregistered handgun or any kind of rapid-fire weapon in Canada. The country also requires training, a personal risk assessment, two references, spousal notification and criminal record checks to purchase a weapon.

‘As a country, in moments like these, we come together to support one another. Together we will mourn with the families of the victims, and help them get through this difficult time,’ Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a written news release.  

While they believe the attack did not begin as random, police did not say what the initial motive was. RCMP Chief Superintendent Chris Leather said many of the victims did not know the shooter.

“That fact that this individual had a uniform and a police car at his disposal certainly speaks to it not being a random act,” Leather said. He added that police believe he acted alone.

Leather said they would investigate whether the attack had anything to do with the coronavirus pandemic but no link has been found thus far. 

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) monitor the TransCanada Highway while searching for Gabriel Wortman, who they describe as a shooter of multiple victims, near Fort Lawrence, Nova Scotia, Canada

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) monitor the TransCanada Highway while searching for Gabriel Wortman, who they describe as a shooter of multiple victims, near Fort Lawrence, Nova Scotia, Canada

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) monitor the TransCanada Highway while searching for Gabriel Wortman, who they describe as a shooter of multiple victims, near Fort Lawrence, Nova Scotia, Canada

Tom Taggart, a lawmaker 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

Tom Taggart, a lawmaker 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

Tom Taggart, a lawmaker 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

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil called the shootings ‘one of the most senseless acts of violence’ in the province’s history.

He added: ‘To the families of the victims and those that are feeling afraid, my heart goes out to you.’  

On Saturday night, Cpl. Lisa Croteau, public information officer with the RCMP Nova Scotia, said police received a call about ‘a person with firearms’ around 10.30pm and it later ‘evolved into an active shooting investigation.’ 

Tom Taggart, a lawmaker 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.

‘People live here because of the peace and quiet and it’s just an absolute tragedy,’ he said.

Police warned that Wortman may be driving what 'appears to be an RCMP vehicle & may be wearing an RCMP uniform. There's 1 difference between his car and our RCMP vehicles: the car #. The suspect's car is 28B11, behind rear passenger window. If you see 28B11 call 911 immediately.' But later, police said he was driving a Chevrolet sports utility vehicle

Police warned that Wortman may be driving what 'appears to be an RCMP vehicle & may be wearing an RCMP uniform. There's 1 difference between his car and our RCMP vehicles: the car #. The suspect's car is 28B11, behind rear passenger window. If you see 28B11 call 911 immediately.' But later, police said he was driving a Chevrolet sports utility vehicle

Police warned that Wortman may be driving what ‘appears to be an RCMP vehicle & may be wearing an RCMP uniform. There’s 1 difference between his car and our RCMP vehicles: the car #. The suspect’s car is 28B11, behind rear passenger window. If you see 28B11 call 911 immediately.’ But later, police said he was driving a Chevrolet sports utility vehicle

Police block the highway in Enfield, Nova Scotia on Sunday

Police block the highway in Enfield, Nova Scotia on Sunday

Police block the highway in Enfield, Nova Scotia on Sunday

Taggart said he didn’t know Wortman well, but spoke to him a few times when he telephoned about municipal issues.

Taggart described knowing Wortman’s ‘lovely big home’ on Portapique Beach Road. 

He said Wortman owned a few other properties in the community and was believed to divide his time between Portapique and his business in Dartmouth.

He described Portapique as ‘cottage country,’ with about 100 year-round residents and 250 in the summer.

‘You just don’t even dream that this is going to happen,’ he said. ‘I can’t fathom it.’

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