A Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) member walks out of the Great Village command post after searching for Gabriel Wortman, who they describe as a shooter of multiple victims, in Great Village, Nova Scotia, Canada April 19, 2020. REUTERS/John Morris
April 19, 2020
By John Morris
PORTAPIQUE, Nova Scotia (Reuters) – Police in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia on Sunday arrested a 51-year-old gunman suspected of shooting several people, whose conditions were not specified.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said the shootings occurred in the small Atlantic coastal town of Portapique, about 130 km north (80 miles) of the provincial capital Halifax.
“Gabriel Wortman, suspect in active shooter investigation, is now in custody,” the force said in a tweet. It gave no details and did not say whether the victims were injured or killed.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, speaking to reporters in Ottawa, deplored what he called “a terrible situation.”
One local resident said she had come across two burning police vehicles while out driving on Sunday morning.
“There was one officer we could see on scene and then all of a sudden, he went running toward one of the burning vehicles,” Darcy Sack told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
“We heard gunshots,” she said, adding that one police officer looked to have been injured.
Portapique residents said the incident started late on Saturday night when police urged everyone to stay indoors. Police said Wortman was 51 years old.
Police were due to give a news conference at 5 p.m. EST (2100 GMT).
Police initially said Wortman was driving what appeared to be a police car and was wearing a uniform but later reported he was at the wheel of a Chevrolet sports utility vehicle.
Mass shootings are relatively rare in Canada, which has tighter gun control laws than the United States.
The worst incident in recent years occurred in January 2017, when a man shot dead six people at an Islamic cultural center in Quebec City.
In August 2018, a man in the province of New Brunswick, which borders Nova Scotia, shot dead four people, including two police officers, in an apartment complex. In June 2014, in the same province, a man shot dead three police.
(Writing by David Ljunggren in Ottawa; Editing by Lisa Shumaker, Grant McCool and Cynthia Osterman)