FREDERICTON, N.B. — The mass shooting that has forever changed the lives of all Nova Scotians’ – especially the families of those victims, started after an argument between the gun-man and his girlfriend, who RCMP say survived the attack.
This massacre is one of the deadliest in Canadian history, claiming the lives of 23, including an unborn baby. There are 16 crime scenes spread throughout rural areas in Nova Scotia.
Police shot and killed the suspect in a shoot-out in Elmsdale at the local Big Stop Irving Restaurant – a location that would have been much busier on a Sunday morning if not for COVID-19.
“In total, there were over seven locations where people were found deceased,” the RCMP said in their statement. “Many of the deceased were discovered when responding members were checking homes and for suspects.”
Gabriel Wortman used the trusting nature of rural Nova Scotia against his victims – he dressed as a police officer, using pieces of the uniform, and drove a car dressed up like a police cruiser.
“He had a fully marked and equipped RCMP vehicle and was wearing a police uniform.” Police said.
Gabriel Wortman was a denturist, and operated a practice in Dartmouth. The sign on Wortman’s practice was removed by the RCMP and community after desperate pleas and petitions from a still-mourning public. While Wortman did not have a police record, questions are emerging about his past. Some have claimed he was a thief and swindler, and Wortman had a history of assault.
According to an Article in the New York Post, “Nova Scotia court records confirm he was ordered to receive counseling for anger management after pleading guilty to assaulting a man in the Halifax area on Oct. 29, 2001. The guilty plea came on Oct. 7, 2002, as his trial was about to begin. He was placed on probation for nine months, fined $50 and told to stay away from the man, and also prohibited from owning or possessing a weapon, ammunition or explosive substances.”
The response of RCMP is under question. At 11:32 p.m., the RCMP responded to the incident over Twitter, informing the public to, “stay in their homes with doors locked at this time.”
Many families are inquiring whether or not this response was enough – and questioned whether an Emergency alert should have been released province-wide, similar to an Amber alert. On April 24th, police responded to incidents in the Halifax area by sending out one of these alerts. It was later declared a false alarm.