16 Killed in Shooting Rampage, Deadliest in Canadian History

Canada shooting

(Tim Krochak/The Canadian Press via AP)

TORONTO (AP) — A gunman disguised as a police officer shot people in their homes and set fires in a rampage across the Canadian province of Nova Scotia that killed 16 people, the deadliest such attack in the country’s history. Officials said Sunday the suspected shooter was also dead.

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. The assault began late Saturday, and authorities believe the shooter may have targeted his first victims but then began attacking randomly.

Police identified the man believed to be the shooter as Gabriel Wortman, 51, who was thought to live part-time in Portapique. Authorities said he wore a police uniform at one point and made his car look like a Royal Canadian Mounted Police cruiser.

Police first announced that they had arrested Wortman at a gas station in Enfield, outside Halifax, but later said he had died. It was not clear how, and they did not explain further.

“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.

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