Nova Scotia suspect dead following shooting spree that killed at least 10

Apr 19 2020, 3:04 pm

A man who allegedly shot and killed at least 10 people before leading Mounties on a lengthy overnight pursuit through rural Nova Scotia is dead, police say.

The 51-year-old allegedly shot multiple victims in several Nova Scotia communities beginning late Saturday night. One of the victims was an RCMP officer who initially responded.

At a press conference Sunday afternoon, RCMP assistant commissioner Brian Bergman confirmed Const. Heidi Stevenson has died.

“Heidi answered the call of duty and lost her life protecting those she served,” Bergman said.

Another officer is also in hospital recovering from non-lifethreatening injuries.

Chief Supt. Chris leather said the death count is “in excess of 10,” but will “almost certainly be more than 10,” as officers continue to find more victims as they trace Wortman’s route.

“Some of these crime scenes we’ve not even begun to process,” he said, adding more injured victims could have checked themselves into local hospitals.

The shooting spree began in Portapique, where Mounties found several bodies outside and inside a home. As officers searched for a suspect, they found several nearby structures lit on fire.

At that point, Nova Scotia RCMP asked residents to stay inside.

The shooter fled along rural highways, Mounties say. At one point, he was driving a “mockup” of an RCMP cruiser, Leather said. He also apparently had on an RCMP uniform. These aspects could speak to the crime being premeditated, Leather added.

In tweets sent out during the police chase, Mounties clarified the man was not an RCMP employee and advised residents not to approach him and to call 911 if they saw the vehicle’s serial number.

Later, RCMP tweeted that the active shooter was in a silver Chevy Tracker. It’s not clear when or how he switched vehicles.

Police chased him through the night, and finally found him about 12 hours later, around 11:30 local time.

Mounties initially said they arrested him, but later on Sunday, officials confirmed that he had died. They said gunfire was exchanged between police and the suspect at one point during the chase, but would not say when.

Leather would also not say whether the suspect killed himself or whether police shot him.

Nova Scotia’s police watchdog, the Serious Incident Response Team, will investigate the death, Leather said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered his condolences to victims’ families at his Sunday morning press briefing, saying “my heart goes out to everyone.”

Megan DevlinMegan Devlin

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