Canada Nova Scotia Shooting
Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers prepare to take a suspect into custody at a gas station in Enfield, Nova Scotia on Sunday April 19, 2020. Canadian police arrested a suspect in an active shooter investigation after earlier saying he may have been driving a vehicle resembling a police car and wearing a police uniform. (Tim Krochak/The Canadian Press via AP)
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By Rob Gillies, Associated Press

A 51-year-old man went on a shooting rampage across the northern part of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia Sunday, killing at least 10 people, including a policewoman. Officials said the suspected shooter was also dead.

The man was identified as Gabriel Wortman and authorities said he disguised himself as a police officer in uniform at one point and mocked up a car to make it seem like a Royal Canadian Mounted Police cruiser.

He was arrested by the RCMP in a gas station in Enfield, Nova Scotia, northwest of downtown Halifax. Police later announced that he had died.

“In excess of 10 people have been killed,” RCMP Chief Superintendent Chris Leather said. “We believe it to be one person who is responsible for all the killings and that he alone moved across the northern part of the province and committed what appears to be several homicides.”

Leather said they don’t have a final death count.

“It almost certainly will be more than 10. How much more than 10, I do not know,” he said.

Brian Sauvé, President of National Police Federation union, said a police officer was among those killed in a shooting and another was injured.

The dead officer was identified as Const. Heidi Stevenson, a mother of two and a 23-year-old veteran of the force.

Police have not provided a motive for the attack. He 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.

Leather said they would investigate whether it had anything to do with the coronavirus pandemic. “We have not yet determined whether there is any link to the COVID-19 crisis,” he said.

He said at point there was an exchange of gunfire between the suspect and police.

There were half a dozen police vehicles at the scene of a gas station where the suspect was shot. Yellow police tape surrounded the gas pumps, and a large silver-colored SUV was being investigated.

The incident started in the small, rural town of Portapique, with police advising residents to lock their homes and stay in their basements.

Police found many dead inside and outside the home of the first scene.

Several structures were on fire in the area as well.

“This is one of the most senseless acts of violence in our province’s history,” said Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil. He said it was an additional “heavy burden” amid efforts to contain the new coronavirus.

Mass shootings are relatively rare in Canada. Canada overhauled its gun-control laws after the country’s worst mass shooting in 1989, when gunman Marc Lepine killed 14 women and himself at Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique college. It is now illegal to possess an unregistered handgun or any kind of rapid-fire weapon. Canada also requires training, a personal risk assessment, two references, spousal notification and criminal record checks.

Police stated earlier Sunday the suspect in Sunday’s shootings was driving a car that looked like a police vehicle and wearing a police uniform, but later said he was “believed to be driving a small, silver Chevrolet SUV.” They said he is not an RCMP employee or officer.

Cpl. Lisa Croteau, a spokeswoman with the provincial force, said police received a call about “a person with firearms” at around 10:30 p.m. Saturday and the investigation “evolved into an active shooting investigation.”

“My heart goes out to everyone affected in what is a terrible situation,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.

Christine Mills, a resident of the town, said it had been a frightening night for the small town, with armed officers patrolling the streets. In the morning, helicopters flew overhead searching for the suspect.

“I feel better now to know he’s in custody,” Mills said. “It’s nerve-wracking because you don’t know if somebody has lost their mind and is going to beat in your front door.”

Tom Taggart, a lawmaker who represents the Portapique area 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.

A Gabriel Wortman is listed as a denturist in Dartmouth, 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.

Mills also said that Wortman was known locally as a denturist who divided his time between a residence in Halifax and a residence in Portapique.

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 and was believed to divide his time between Portapique and his business in Dartmouth.

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    • …”lock your homes and stay in your basement”. I recall Aldo Raines quote “You know fighting in a basement offers a lot of difficulties – No. 1 being you’re fighting in a basement.”

      • lock yourselves in your basements? What?!! this is why we have the god given right to defend ourselves because the world is a dangerous place. buy a hand gun or shotgun and learn how to use it! the police only show up after something has happened.

        • I reserve “bastard” comments for people born of unmarried parents. Since we don’t know if the shooter was, I’ll just call him insane.

    • This is what happens when an out of control government removes the ability of law abiding citizens to defend themselves.

      • Politicians know that a well-armed citizenry is the best protection a family can have. But they and judges criminalize the innocent. Then they blame guns. The “denturist” should have met a volley of return fire the first ever he shot at someone. Canada is now, like the UK, a nation of targets.

    • Is this a new strategy to have mass shooting incidents happen in places that already have restrictive gun laws to prove the only final solution is total prohibition?

      • Yep. Trudeau is pushing for even more restrictive gun laws and this is just the sort of help he needs to get it done.

      • Anyone with half a brain, would realize that this could’ve ended much earlier; if it was easier to own a firearm for self-protection in Canada!

      • I would say yes, but literally *everything* leads to total prohibition in their scheme. Just more of the same.

        They ratchet the laws even tighter on all the people who DIDN’T do it, guaranteeing that innocent people can’t defend themselves. Some nutjob kills random people who can’t resist. Cue MOAR laws restricting all the people who DIDN’T do it. Go easy on criminals because while it’s not their fault they’re violent, it’s your fault that you’re being violent if you resist.

        Wash, rinse, repeat.

        Pure evil.

  1. Looking like a cop gives a bad guy an advantage amongst the sheep. Goes against our instincts and training to throw down on a cop. Of course in Canada it’s a moot point as the right to carry is not available and firearms are supposed to be secure when not being used.

    • He dressed like a cop, and identified as a cop, therefore he must have been a police officer. That’s the way things work right?

      Or maybe… Bruce Jenner is just a troubled old man and not a woman. I’m glad I eat eggs for breakfast instead of Wheaties.

      I suppose this guy really wasn’t a Mounty even if he identified that way.

      • Baby steps. Let’s ban rape, murder, robbery and assorted other crimes. Once those are banned the world will be safe and we just don’t need cops anymore.

    • @jwm,

      I don’t know about other jurisdictions, but the LASD’s own Employee Handbook clearly instructs and reminds deputies that they are required to present their badge and identify themselves by name & rank upon request by a member of the community, to prove that they are indeed acting in as recognized agents of the Sheriff. If ever stopped by LASD, the very first thing you do is (1) politely ask for the reason for the contact/stop, and (2) politely request to visually see their badge(s). You are not required to identify yourself or say anything further at this point, and nothing proceeds until you have these two questions satisfied.

      If you ever encounter a recalcitrant deputy, you simply remind him/her that there are multiple cases in which innocent people were attacked or killed by impersonators, something all deputies are well aware of.

      Oh…and always video each encounter from beginning to end, if at all possible.

      • A nice theory but it doesn’t always work.

        When I was a senior in high school we were specifically instructed that, if we felt uncomfortable about a traffic stop, to drive to a well-lit area with people such as a grocery store parking lot. This advice was specifically because of impostors who had attacked and abducted some women for the purposes of rape.

        A girl I knew ended up in jail on a felony “evading and eluding” charge because she followed this advice and a Sheriff’s Deputy didn’t like having his authority questioned by a 17 year old girl driving an extra couple blocks at the speed limit.

        I’m not anti-cop. Credit where it’s due and criticism too, that’s my rule. But many LEOs do tick me off with their attitude about certain things. “We don’t know who we’ve pulled over!” is one of them because that issue works both ways.

        • …except that I never advised you to continue driving when you see the red & blue in your mirror. I said “when you’re pulled over”, so if you choose to keep driving when you see the red & blue in your mirror, it’s on you.

        • I was referring to the part where you said:

          “If you ever encounter a recalcitrant deputy, you simply remind him/her that there are multiple cases in which innocent people were attacked or killed by impersonators, something all deputies are well aware of.”

          The same department that knows this, and informs YOU of it, may have officers who don’t give a shit about it and prefer you to “respect their authority”. Failure to comply with their personal wishes may result in arrest and felony charges even when you’re complying with their department policy.

          And what do you think happens if you resist a felony arrest hard enough?

        • Strych9- I have my wife follow that rule, and when my young daughter can drive she will have the same rule. Do not pull over for flashing lights out in the middle of nowhere, especially near the reservation. My wife would,call the dispatch and say she is not eluding. I have warned the cop will get out and be upset that you did not i,,ediately comply, and to say she was affraid. If the cop tried to harm her through tyranny by law like in your example, I would have no issue teaching the state thug that disobedience to tyrants, is obedience to God.

          Hopefully, the thug would feel so bad that the evidence at their home would show a suicide for a bachelor or murder/suicide, which happens enough in law enforcement that they are only internally investigated to cover the department’s rearend.

        • @strych9,

          “And what do you think happens if you resist a felony arrest hard enough?”

          Please show me where I ever said to resist a lawful arrest. You’re stretching statements and twisting words to make verbal balloon animals. If you had paid attention to my original comment, you’d see that I included the advice to video record encounters with LEOs. If they insist on arresting you, so be it, but at least you’ll have evidence of the conversation to help your attorneys afterwards.

          When a contact/stop begins, I always insist on following the two rules I outlined above. It immediately sets the tone (and lets the LEOs know) that the conversation will be conducted per their department policy and the law, and minimizes the “mental gymnastics” they might otherwise have tried to play on you to get you to trip up and give them an actual reason to arrest you.

      • Also to get things off on the right foot, let them know up front that “I’m not driving, I’m travelling.”

    • JWM-The entire purpose of the 2nd Amendment is to be able to protect ourselves from government employees, who have the moral code of just following orders. American Independence was declared by firing on British law enforcers on 4-19-1775.
      The worst tragedy of Nam was it turned our society into useful idiots of a two party democracy, instead of a Constitutional Republic. Then, those older folks who thought saying no to a corrupt government was honorable, passed that subservience to corruption off as patriotism. It is like how conservatives have made it legal for cops to kill us Citizens, simply because We are armed.

      It is 100 percent legal to defend ourselves from a cop. I would never get in a gunfight with an up armored threat if I was alone even though my gun goes through soft at or and I’m better trained than most 99% of cops, because if a cop pulls a gun on me they just made it legal for me to engage the thug with a rifle at a time of my choosing, is what the 2nd Amendment allows. The 2nd Amendment means the Citizen has more of a right to make it home to our families than a cop does.

  2. Just watched an interview from CTV. The man interviewed said he saw the RCMP’s Swat Team arrive at the truck stop. Jump out of their vehicles and open fire on the perp. Firing multiple shots (5-10) through the windshield of the SUV. Killing him. I saw one photo of a SUV with multiple bullet holes in the lower passenger side of the windshield. Sad situation but, a good job by the Swat Team.

      • Dumbest statement today. And out of 7+ billion people on the planes that’s quite an achievement.

      • The 19th of April is their favorite day for attacks, however, it always seems to be attacks against Americans. I imagine the stay-at-home order probably put a damper on the usual suspects plans.
        Trudeau has already been using the Wuhan virus as cover to infringe even more on Canadians right to arms, now this attack puts a nicely wrapped ‘gift’ of an excuse in his lap.

        • It is all very much worse than that. Today is the 33rd anniversary of “The Simpsons” first appearance on the Tracey Ullman Show. And then, just 41 years ago, the actress Kate Hudson was born. Even more significant, today was the official First Day of Summer in Iceland.

          It’s all connected, part of a vast conspiracy for Canada to Rule The World!!!

  3. RIP to all of the victims
    Maybe if even one of the victims had a chance to fight back..the toll might have been much less…
    Hide in your basements is the best advice they could give
    Canadians have lots of guns…mostly rifles and shotguns of course…
    I wonder what this guy used

    • M134 Minigun… I know that’s fires pretty rapidly and probably isn’t legal to own in Canadr.

    • Today any self-loading firearm. Next it will be rapid-fire repeating firearms such as lever actions (despite many bolt-action firearms actually being faster to cycle). And the the classification will extend to other action types.

      Much like the term “assault weapon”. Deliberately vague so the application can change according to need.

    • Can’t let that happen. What would Hollyweird do? Most of the crap coming out of the studios. Is full of fake cops and cop cars. Not to mention all those guns with infinitely loaded clipazins and things that go up.

  4. “twenty three year old veteran of the force”?

    What all of 3-4 years? She’s still a rookie and maybe why she got killed; inexperience, situational awareness and some good old paranoia. (suspect everyone cause everyone’s a suspect).

    Maybe they meant 23 year veteran but I don’t think so.

    Personally, I don’t believe very many women should be police. They are not built for it and their default mental/emotional state is not conducive to dangerous police duties. Maybe they can be investigators or public relations or other such duties but they just seem to create more problems than they solve.

    • Jakee, I worked with more men who were cowards than women. In fact, other than one, the women I worked with were fearless. I understand that one woman has been pulled off the road and works in the jail. No disrespect to our correctional officers. You have a tough and thankless job.

    • Other articles indicate she was a 23-year veteran of the RCMP (and mother of 2), not a 23 year old veteran.
      I could be wrong but I don’t believe many police agencies/departments would hire someone who is 23, let alone younger.
      Anecdotally, a police chief told me he wouldn’t hire anyone younger than 25 minimum, both because of liability and because your resume at that age is almost always too thin to win out against other more qualified applicants.

    • She worked for them for 23 years she was a pretty seasoned officer. This was also probably the first time she ever had to deal with this sort of situation. The outcome is a sad one regardless.

    • I did not intend to call any female police officer a coward. Actually just the reverse since they feel they must “measure up” they tend to be over aggressive which in their case (most of them) they have to resort to deadly force too often.

      Natural aggressiveness and bulk with upper body strength usually is lacking with most female officers. I would suspect it’s getting better as the Dept’s shake things out and do better training them.

      • “Natural aggressiveness and bulk with upper body strength usually is lacking with most female officers.”

        It’s lacking in a great many male officers too. The only thing in danger around a lot of these guys is a Twinkie, well… if they can get the wrapper open which, to look at some of them, is an open question.

      • “Natural aggressiveness”

        Just what we need in a civil servant.

        I would rather they have a college degree in criminal justice or constitutional law.

        • Judging by the people who tout their constitutional law degrees, I’m giving that one a hard pass. The last thing we need is any of those aggressively maleducated nincompoops on the streets with a gun and some authority.

          Criminal justice…maybe they’ll at least know something about human behavior and applying the law, but even that’s a crapshoot since the complete SJW convergence of universities.

          How about none of the above?

    • You got confused because she is a rather attractive 40+ year old woman with 23 years of experience in law enforcement.

    • From what I’ve read is that she rammed and stopped his car, he then got out and shot her in the chest. Pretty sure that could have happened to any male officer.

    • Cst. Stevenson was a 23 year vetran of the RCMP. She previously served in Public Affairs for the Province out of Halifax regional centre. She was by no means a rookie. The amount of pre-planning this perp did, was astonishing. He apparently bought the car at auction as a former Police car. All identifying decals are removed of course, but with access to a vinyl printer, available for a few hundred bucks, he could easily generate anything he needed to make it an exact copy, plus the glue lines from where the decals had been originally removed, gave him a perfect pattern for his bogus Police car. Sadly, the uniform components are not terribly different to replicate well enough from a distance, responding members would see what the expected; other uniformed RCMP members in marked Police cars. Vet or rookie would assume the same thing, and a near perfect ambush set in motion

  5. Look for oh I dunno Canaduh banning pretty much EVERYTHING gun related. Because evil boomsticks…and as patriots are aware today is the 245th anniversary of the SHOT HEARD ROUND THE WORLD. Our 2nd Amendment is precious. Pols & po-leece need to be aware there’s a price to pay for treading on Americans. This AIN’T Canada!

  6. All the gun grabbers like “our gun laws should be more like Canada’s”… Silent now.

  7. Let’s see…it is against the law to impersonate a police office and it is against the law to murder people. Knee jerk Canada must go full bore insane and ban guns belonging to everyone who did not have anything whatsoever to do with the crime. By golly the next time it won’t be with a gun…it’ll be with a knife, car, bus, truck, bat, gasoline, poison, etc. Oh Canada.

    • I was born in Cape Breton and Nova Scotia is a wonderful place to live…You must be some damn New Yorker!!

  8. Always a terrible thing. The questions to ask should be all about the person that did these crimes. With a major question being were warning signs missed? Ignored? Was this someone who sought psychiatric help, or who others were concerned about?

    It is rare that a mass shooter simply “snaps”. They plan, they build up, their crazy and their mental defects grow and evolve into extreme violence and murder. Often, their path to bloodletting had signs that could be seen or were seen and did concern people.

    At least he was stopped.

    • I’m reading he was a frequent visitor to local counsel meetings. No word on the why at this point. Death count is up to 16.

  9. Any information about what type of firearms that the shooter used? My speculation is that it must have been guns that remain legal in Canada otherwise they would already be blaming the carnage on guns smuggled from America. Hopefully; it was a politically correct, break action shotgun of the type favored by Elmer Fudd.

    • Yep. Must have been fake news. Mass shootings only happen in the US. BO said SO…many times.

  10. Thank God someone with a CCW was there to stop him before things got out of hand… Whats that you say… People can’t carry a firearm for protection in Canada? Well at least their citizens have a crappy Socialized Health Care System with waiting lists and care rationing. At least there’s that.

    Canada’s Gun Laws
    All gun owners have to be licensed, and all handguns and most semiautomatic weapons have to be registered.
    Handguns can’t be carried out of the home, either concealed or openly, except with a specific license, which is usually only given to people who need guns for work.
    Licenses require training in gun safety and an extensive background check.
    Guns have to be kept locked and unloaded.

    • CCW or not, if the first time you realized that the guy was not a cop was when he draws, you would have almost NO chance.

    • Seems almost every one of the 16 people he killed, he did so in full police uniform and either a near perfectly marked police car or the real one he stole. pulling them over and shooting them in the head. Concealed carry is fantastic but hardly relevant here

  11. Look, we’re all upset that the NHL isn’t going to be able to finish the season, but this was not the way to handle the disappointment…

  12. “Mass shootings are relatively rare in Canada. Canada overhauled its gun-control laws after the country’s worst mass shooting in 1989, when gunman Marc Lepine killed 14 women and himself at Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique college. It is now illegal to possess an unregistered handgun or any kind of rapid-fire weapon. Canada also requires training, a personal risk assessment, two references, spousal notification and criminal record checks.”

    And what does all that have to do with mass shootings? Why would a mass shooter go through the trouble of following all those laws?!

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

      How does that stop criminal gangs?

  13. Saying that rapid fire weapons are banned in Canada isn’t technically correct. There’s a few select guns that are restricted or prohibited but most semi automatic rifles are considered non-restricted meaning anyone with a basic license can possess them. They’d be classified the same as granddaddy’s old bolt gun or a shot gun. The main restriction is on magazine capacity. I guess this depends on what your definition of “rapid fire” is.

  14. He did not dress up as a police officer, he was a police officer. Year before when he was a recruit a temporary instructor took his gunm sleeve off his gunm and tossed it over his shoulder. A hidden resentment festered and matured through time and he finally snapped. This is what happened,,,

  15. Did they arrest the suspect before or after the police shot him? Inquiring minds would like to know.

  16. These stories always suck. Too bad some of these people can’t just off themselves and save the rest of us dealing with this shit.

  17. I thought impersonating a Cop was a crime, dam criminals just don’t seem to respect the rules of law. Imagine that!

  18. I won’t pile-on with the “they said it couldn’t happen here” comments (even though they’re true). It’s just lamentable that none of the victims would have had any meaningful way of defending themselves. I think it would have been impossible to stop him at the start of his rampage, being that he was impersonating a cop and all, but I still think the number of victims would be lower had they been able to shoot back.

  19. I predicted this almost twenty years ago, only I thought it would happen in Chicago and be part of an organized islamist terror plot.

  20. If the shooting had been in the US the most important clue to the identity of the shooter would have been the race of the victims: if they were Black then the shooter IS a policeman.
    Who shot the shooter? Sounds like the US-keep it simple-no trial.

  21. With ‘social distancing’ the most likely incident is suicide. Make sure you have enough ammunition if you are a poor shot-you don’t want to just shoot yourself in the foot.

  22. Which is the greatest threat? The occasional nut with a gun? Or the government that made it impossible to defend against the nut?

  23. “Save money. Cancel all the gun laws. Fire all the cops. Give everyone a 45 and a hundred rounds of ammo. Within a month all the criminals will be dead or will have left the country. Then we will have a peaceful and polite society.”
    ~~~ Franklyn Delano Dieckman

  24. I’m not sure that having an ad for a can of M855 is the first thing people should see after reading this story. It doesn’t really bother me as I’ve see this ad before but it’s an example of what the antis love to use in their against us propaganda.
    Yes, yes… never give and inch… from my cold dead hands… Don’t Tread on Me – just sayin’

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