Multiple crime scenes, unknown mobile killer: investigation into the worst killing in Canadian history, a “tragedy” that killed at least 18 people in Nova Scotia according to Justin Trudeau, looks complex then that the first revelations about its alleged author emerge.
“Armed man killed at least 18 people” over the weekend, the Prime Minister announced during his daily press briefing. The shooter was then shot dead by the police.
“Tragedy should never have happened. Violence never has a place in our country”, he judged.
Mr. Trudeau announced that a “virtual” tribute to the victims would be paid Friday at 7 p.m. on a Facebook group: “This will be an opportunity for us to celebrate the lives of the victims and to be there for their families and loved ones” , he said.
Why such carnage, wondered Monday morning a country still in shock, where mass shootings are rare.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP, federal police) investigators were trying to determine the circumstances and motivations of Gabriel Wortman, a 51-year-old dental technician who killed at least 18 people between Saturday evening and Sunday morning, for another reason mysterious.
He was shot dead by police late Sunday morning near the capital, Halifax, after a deadly run of more than 12 hours and 100 km.
A monster murdered my mother today
The victims were killed in several places. The Canadian press began to identify them: in addition to police officer Heidi Stevenson, a nurse, a teacher and several couples with children were killed.
“A monster murdered my mother today. He murdered her, without thinking. The pain comes and goes in waves. I feel like I am outside my own body. It cannot be true “, lamented on Facebook Darcy Dobson after the death of Heather O’Brien, a nurse.
Did Wortman know them? Several victims “do not seem to be related to the shooter”, an RCMP spokesperson explained the day before at a press conference.
According to media witnesses, the man set fire to his house and shot and killed several people who were going out on the street. He also reportedly killed the driver of a car during his murderous journey.
RCMP chief Brenda Lucki says he may have had an initial “motivation” before setting off in a crazy “random” murderous chase.
The killing began late Saturday evening in a house in the peaceful rural and coastal community of Portapique, which has a hundred souls. Called by neighbors who heard gunshots, the police discovered several bodies on the spot, inside and outside a house. The alleged killer was not found and several fires were reported in the area soon after.
Then began a manhunt that would last all night and morning, over a hundred kilometers.
Gabriel Wortman first traveled in a car resembling that used by the RCMP. The police equipment collector is said to have worn at least part of an RCMP uniform.
“One of those weird guys”
Monday morning, the first information began to filter on the alleged author of the carnage.
Wortman, owned two beautiful properties near the sea in Portapique, as well as a dental prosthesis clinic in Dartmouth, near the capital Halifax.
Neighbors told The Globe and Mail that he had a problem with alcohol and that his clinic suffered from stresses related to the coronavirus epidemic.
But according to Nova Scotia RCMP investigative officer Chris Leather, he was unknown to the police and had no violent history.
Wortman had a passion for equipment and police cars, which he bought at auction and then restored, witnesses said.
One of his properties in Portapique was a veritable “sanctuary” dedicated to the RCMP, according to a man who knew him, quoted by the Globe and Mail.
“He was one of those weird guys, he was really cool collectibles from the police”, according to Nathan Staples.
This drama is the worst mass killing in recent Canadian history.