RCMP Releases Details on Last Weekend’s Nova Scotia Spree Shooting

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The following is a statement given today by RCMP Superintendent Darrell Campbell regarding the mass shooting that took place in Nova Scotia last weekend, detailing the events that took place over 12 hours and resulted in 22 dead (plus the shooter) and three wounded.

The shooter was reported to have owned two handguns and a shotgun. Note that Supt. Campbell still has not identified the firearms used during the 12-hour shooting spree or how the shooter obtained them.

The shooting may have been initiated by an argument the shooter had with his girlfriend on Saturday evening during which he assaulted her.

Also note that RCMP officers bumped into the shooter by chance as he was filling his fake police cruiser with gas. That encounter resulted in a brief shootout and the death of the murderer.

As Cpl. Clarke said, I am Superintendent Darren Campbell, Support Services Officer, Nova Scotia RCMP.

Before I begin and provide you with information related to the incidents as they unfolded, I want to first acknowledge those who lost their lives.

Twenty-two innocent people were killed at the hands of a gunman and three people were injured. To call this a tragedy is an understatement. Some of those who lost their lives did so while trying to save others. They are heroes.

I want to express my sincere condolences to all the families.

There are two elements that I would like to address before going through the incidents as they unfolded.

The incidents happened in rural Nova Scotia, Portapique is a community in Colchester County in the central part of the province. This is a small community, about 100 people live there year-round. The homes are set back from the road, some are old, others new and some are summer residences along the Bay of Fundy. This is a quiet community, there are no sidewalks or street lights.

The RCMP implements a Critical Incident Command structure when responding to complaints that may impact public safety. Highly skilled and trained officers come together as a team in order to direct emergency personnel and the multiple specialized policing units deployed when responding to a complaint.

These two elements are important to be aware of as I go through the timeline of the incidents.

The following details I will be sharing with you have been put together because of the benefit of hindsight, of knowing what happened. The police officers responding to the initial 911 call and the subsequent calls did not have the benefit of the knowledge I am about to share with you. The initial complaint was of a shooting.

To help explain the timeline I will be talking about three clusters of incidents. The first cluster was in Portapique on Saturday night. On Sunday, there was a second cluster of incidents in Wentworth, Glenholme, and Debert. And then, a third and final cluster in Shubenacadie, Milford and Enfield.

(Cluster one)

What we learned as part of the investigation is that on April 18 before the first call came in there was an assault between the gunman and a person known to him in Portapique.

The victim managed to escape from the gunman and hid overnight in the woods.

Following this, police received the first call to 911 with a report of a shooting at a home in Portapique.

Officers arrived at 10:26 p.m. where they located a male leaving the area with an apparent gunshot wound.

They learned that this man was shot while driving his vehicle.

The victim indicated a vehicle drove by him while he was driving and the shot came from the passing vehicle.

Officer arranged for EHS to attend to the victim and he was taken to hospital by EHS.

Several of their units responded to the area and upon arriving, located several people who were deceased lying in the roadway. There were also several structures already on fire.

In total there were over 7 locations where people were found deceased. Many of the deceased were discovered while responding members were checking homes for victims and/or suspects. At this time, police began looking at a number of possible suspects as a result of the information they were receiving.

While the situation was unfolding the Critical Incident Program was engaged and staging to take control of the critical incident.

[At] this point perimeters were established. Specialized Units responded including Police Dog Services, Emergency Response Teams and a DNR helicopter. We also had the Explosives Disposal Unit, crisis negotiators and the Emergency Medical Response Team on stand by. Within a very short time, we also engaged specialized units and resources from J Division in New Brunswick.

Over a lengthy period of time, first responders engaged in clearing residences, searching for suspects, providing life saving measures. Telecommunicators remained on the line with witnesses in the immediate area.

Fairly early into our involvement, we learned of a possible suspect and learned the individual lived in a home in the community of Portapique.

The possible suspect’s home and garages were fully engulfed in flames. Two police vehicles as well as a third vehicle were also burning on the property.

We also learned that the gunman was in possession of a pistol and long barreled weapons. He was also known to own several vehicles that looked like police vehicles.

Our efforts to locate suspect continued throughout the night.

After 0630, at daybreak, a victim emerged from hiding after she called 911.

Our officers responded and it was at that time that, through a significant key witness, we confirmed more details about Gabriel Wortman. This included the fact that he was in possession of a fully marked and equipped replica vehicle and was wearing a police uniform. He was in possession of several firearms that included pistols and long guns.

At that time, we issued a BOLO (Be on the Look Out), a bulletin that included a description of the suspect and vehicle, to all police officers in Nova Scotia.

We maintained containment of the scene and continued to search for the suspect.

(Cluster 2)

More than 12 hours after our initial arrival in Portapique, we began receiving a second series of 911 calls in an area more than 60 km away.

Our investigation has revealed that the gunman attended a residence on Hunter Rd. in the Glenholme area.

At that location, the gunman killed two men and a woman and set residence on fire.

At least two of the victims here were known to the gunman.

Our investigation uncovered that the gunman then travelled to a residence on Hwy 4 in Glenholme.

He knocked on the door and awoke the residents. He was known to the occupants. They identified him to 911 call takers and said he was driving a police vehicle and carrying a long gun.

They didn’t answer the door and he left.

The gunman continued southbound on Hwy 4 from Glenholme to the Wentworth area.

He encountered a woman out walking and shot the woman at roadside. He continued south towards Debert.

At that point he encountered two people driving their vehicles. A witness described that he pulled over one of the vehicles and shot one of the occupants. He continued driving down the same road, encountered a second vehicle and shot and killed that female victim.

During this second series of events, from the timing of the first call on Hunter Road to the last incident, it was about a distance of 44 kilometers.

(Cluster 3)

Cst. Morrison and Cst. Stevenson were communicating and arranged to meet. Cst. Morrison was waiting for Cst. Stevenson at Hwy 2 & Hwy 224. What appeared to be a marked RCMP vehicle approached Cst. Morrison. As they had prearranged to meet at that location, Cst. Morrison thought the vehicle was Cst. Stevenson.

The approaching police vehicle was actually driven by the gunman. The gunman pulled up beside Cst. Morrison and immediately opened fire. Cst. Morrison received several gunshot wounds and began to retreat from the area, driving his vehicle away from the scene. He notified other officers and dispatch that he was shot and that he was enroute to EHS station for emergency medical attention.

During that time, Cst. Heidi Stevenson was nearby in that area, believed to be driving northbound on Hwy 2 while the gunman was travelling southbound on Hwy 2. At that point, both vehicles collided head on. Cst. Heidi Stevenson engaged the gunman. The gunman took Cst. Stevenson’s life. He also took Cst. Stevenson’s gun and mags.

A passerby stopped and was fatally shot by the gunman. The gunman set both Cst. Stevenson’s vehicle and the replica police vehicle on fire. He left the scene, driving south on Hwy 224 in the passerby’s vehicle, which was described as a silver SUV.

The gunman travelled south on Hwy 224 for a short distance where he entered a home on the East Side of Hwy 224. That home happened to be the home of a woman known to the gunman. The gunman shot and killed the female resident.

The gunman then removed the police clothing he was wearing and transferred his weapons to the female victim’s vehicle which was a red Mazda 3.

The gunman travelled south on HWY 224, coming to the Big Stop Irving in Enfield. While he was at the gas pumps, one of our tactical resources came into the gas station to refuel their vehicle. When the officer exited the vehicle, there was an encounter and the gunman was shot and killed by police at 11:26 a.m.

The distance the gunman travelled from the first shooting of Cst. Morrison to the encounter with police at the Big Stop is approx. 23 kms

The situations within the clusters of critical incidents were rapidly evolving, which has increased the complexity of investigating the horrific incidents.

Nova Scotia RCMP continue to ask for anyone who has information about any of these incidents to contact us. We are looking for photos, videos, and any other material that may help. No piece of information is too small, and if you have information we would like to hear from you.

We ask those with information to call the RCMP tip line at 1-902-720-5959. We’ve already gotten many tips and we thank the public for taking the time to reach out.

comments

  1. avatar Roger J says:

    If this gun had been armed with a semi auto rifle we would have known about it immediately.

    1. avatar Roger J says:

      *guy not gun

    2. avatar Chief Censor says:

      They believe he got the guns from the U.S., they couldn’t trace them to Canada yet. Only one gun came back to Canada.

      1. avatar Eric Swalwell says:

        None of that matters. It was an AR15. Even if he used the shotgun and/or one of those revolvers; it was an AR15.

        Eric Swalwell 2020

      2. avatar Hannibal says:

        So in other words, no matter how much gun control is passed, it doesn’t matter. I doubt that will be the takeaway.

  2. avatar Chief Censor says:

    He pulled up to a male cop while he was waiting for the female cop who died. He shot that male cop a few times and drove off. While he was fleeing the scene the female cop crashed into him. They exchanged fire and the female cop was shot with a rifle. He took her gun and magazines. He set fire to his replica/decommissioned cop car and the female officer’s car. He then shot dead a bystander and stole that car. He went to another home of someone he knew and killed them. He changed cars and went to get gas. He ran into a K9 officer who went to fill his car up.

    They say he had long guns and pistols. He had numerous guns, but only one has been traced to Canada. The other guns are suspected to be from the States. They say he was banned from owning guns for 9 months after he beat up a teenager many years ago. There are reports he had more guns in his home. He may have made the guns himself like he did with his refurbished police cars.

    There are reports he also wore body armor during the attack. He did wear genuine police uniforms, although out of date. By law old uniforms are supposed to be destroyed or turned in.

    They won’t give details to the model of firearms. They say he had a rifle, but won’t say if it was something like an AR-15.

    By the way, multiple police shot at innocent people and drove off without checking who they shot at. There is also a possibility they killed an innocent person in a grey SUV thinking it was the gunman. Oh, and they did not warn the locals that there was a man dressed as a cop knocking on doors and pulling people over then killing them. The police already knew what he was wearing and driving because the girlfriend told them.

    1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      your first paragraph contradicts most of the events outlined by the rcmp.
      but i’ll believe you since impressive track record on your part.

      1. avatar Chief Censor says:

        I watched the press conference. It’s always better to watch the press conference than to rely on the media.

        In the quoted text about “cluster 3” is pretty much the same info but told differently. However, I have seen conflicting evidence and police reports about the shooting at the gas station and the silver SUV. It looks like they shot a man in a silver SUV at the gas station, but the police say the gunman was driving a red car. So, we need to see the gas station’s videos to verify.

        When police shot up a fire station and chose not to warn the people about the ongoing attack, we cannot trust anything they say.

        1. avatar Darkman says:

          I watched the same presser. Several inconsistencies with what was said compared to the above article.

  3. avatar Johnny Bullets says:

    The Canadians have no one to blame, but themselves.

    1. avatar Chief Censor says:

      Maybe now they won’t be so trusting of government and loving of their cops more than Americans do?

      Look what the government has done with drug addicts, the pandemic and this shooting.

      How can any Canadian trust a government that uses the emergency alert system to warn people to stay home because of a dangerous virus yet not use that system to warn people of a mass murderer dressed as a cop driving a decommissioned police car? Right after the shooting they were back to giving press conferences on the very dangerous virus that is going to kill everyone if they go outside. Maybe if the gunman would have waited until Monday he would have heard the news that he can reopen his businesses.

    2. avatar Orgoglio says:

      Nobody is to blame except the lunatic who committed this insane rampage. I have family in the maritime provinces, they’re perfectly fine people who did not deserve to have this wrought on their home.

      When the media blames all gun owners for the actions of criminals we are rightfully angered. And yet, you want to blame every Canadian for the restrictions foisted on them by their government and fellow citizens?

      1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

        I think he was likely referring to the wider scope, such as “Canadians voted for their Leftist leaders, so they deserve the society they chose to form with their votes.” It’s similar to the vitriol we Californians get all the time from out-of-staters because enough Democrat voters (outnumbering our millions of conservative residents) chose our Leftist leaders, so we “deserve the results”. It’s not entirely illogical, though Johnny Bullets mis-applied it to this event. Severely.

        As for your reply regarding this specific incident, I fully agree that the only person to blame for the carnage is the shooter himself. Nobody else. Unfortunately, Trudeau and his merry band of leftist legislators may use this to punish all Canadians…again.

        1. avatar Chief Censor says:

          What are the chances they punish themselves for shooting at innocent people and not warning the people of the murderer in uniform? Will they punish the people that gave him the uniforms if they turn out to be cops?

        2. avatar neiowa says:

          The Cunuikians do luv them some Eurowussinness.

  4. avatar jwm says:

    We live in a scary and dangerous world. Why would anyone wish to travel this world unarmed? I question the sanity of any person living in this world that has access to the news and still decides that being unarmed is the way to go.

  5. avatar GS650G says:

    All this by one man. A team of several would have destroyed all of it.

    1. avatar Chief Censor says:

      Didn’t a teen and a man terrorize an entire nation with an AR and a hole in a trunk of a car?

      No wonder Americans are afraid of a group of men with guns that say Americans can’t leave their homes because it’s not essential. That’s what North Korea does.

    2. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      From an American POV, a single individual conceal-carrying while going about his/her normal day might have stopped him cold in his tracks.

      1. avatar GS650G says:

        Impossible in Canada.

      2. avatar Someone says:

        Might have. Or not. Few of us would think about shooting someone who looks like a cop, until it’s too late.

  6. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    Gun control will not work anywhere and if the person would have used another method to commit evil. If one is committed to conduct evil, one more or any amount of laws wouldn’t have prevented it and never will in the future,Leftist’s Never Learn.

    1. avatar Victoria Illinois says:

      Look at all the machete crimes/murders. The bad guy will ALWAYS have the upper hand if the peasants are unarmed. And the elite will always have bodyguards, armed.
      Every day I thank our founding fathers. What great forward thinking men, giving the people power, and not making themselves kings. (Tho, the governor of Michigan thinks she’s a queen.)

  7. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    The big difference between rural Canada and Rural America are the hundreds of guns in a small little American town.
    Steven Williford who lives in a small rural American Town used his AR-15 to stop a mass murderer.

    When Americans in a rural area hear gunfire, they’re grabbing their own guns to get ready. When Canadians in rural areas here guns they’re going Outdoors unarmed to see what’s going on.

    We speak a similar language. We have completely different cultures.

    1. avatar Chris T in KY says:

      BTW
      Just because Cop in uniform shows up at your door. Doesn’t mean you have to let him into your home.

    2. avatar rosignol says:

      Depends on the number of shots I hear. One? Someone’s hunting. Half a dozen? Something’s up.

      1. avatar The Huscarl says:

        Sets of a half-dozen means someone is target practicing in the back yard.

    3. avatar neiowa says:

      Outdoors? Reportedly the popo instructed to cower in basement. I assume also wet self.

      “The RCMP implements a Critical Incident Command structure when responding to complaints that may impact public safety. Highly skilled and trained officers come together as a team” – sounds like the US popo moths to the flame club meeting “technique”.

  8. avatar Ing says:

    “Some of those who lost their lives did so while trying to save others. They are heroes.”

    And being law-abiding citizens, not a single one of them had the smallest chance of success.

    Congratulations on your gun control, Canada. It did exactly what gun control is designed (if not intended) to do: create dead people.

  9. avatar Ragnarredbeard says:

    Please don’t use the word spree for these things.

    1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      what’s word spree?

  10. avatar former water walker says:

    What a pathetic story. “We only found him by accident”. Clusterfluck #4…a cheap pump shotgun woulda’ stopped this creep. Sheep will follow😩

  11. avatar Ralph says:

    Man, that guy was a scvmbag.

    1. avatar Chief Censor says:

      He really wanted to be a cop.

      1. avatar 9x39 says:

        Remind me in a few months to describe my current situation in a clear DGU on my part, once all of these legal situations are resolved…

        LEO’s can be, and indeed have been, in my experience, scvmbags.

        1. avatar Someone says:

          Good luck!

  12. avatar James W Crawford says:

    I once had a Clackamas County Oregon Sheriff’s Deputy show up at my back door to issue me a second citation for an event that had occurred over a year earlier. He was upset because the case that he had filed for the wrong county had been dismissed and expunged. Aside from the bizarre circumstances, it appeared that he was intoxicated.

    I told the Deputy, “get the fuck off my property! Now!”. His eyes grew wide, he seemed to get about six inches shorter, then he turned around. While I can’t be certain about exactly what happened, a sudden unpleasant aroma combined with a visible stain in the crotch and seat of his uniform trousers suggests that he had lost bowel as well as bladder control.

    No. I didn’t have a gun on my person.

    The Deputy seemed to have been very slow and clumsy as he ran to his vehicle. He burned rubber on the asphalt near my house. The next morning I discovered oil and other evidence on my half mile long driveway that suggested that he had punctured his oil pan on a rut or pothole.

    It turned out that this was the same Deputy who had issued the first citation. It is debatable if he was actually on duty. He had driven an hour to reach my house and would have had to drive another hour to return to his jurisdiction. I suggested to my attorney that we could dramatize the incident by showing the video segment from Monty Python and the Holy Grail where Brave Sir Robin meets the three headed giant.

    The case was dismissed again by a Judge in Washington County. Deputy Brave Sir Robin was involved in the suicide by cop of a distraught man in Colton Oregon a month later. The team of officers that were armed with pistols and an AR-15 were almost compelled to open fire because Deputy Brave Sir Robin dropped his Taser.

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