SWITZERLAND, APRIL 20 – A gunman disguised as a policeman killed at least 19 people, including a female Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officer, in the worst mass shooting in Canada’s modern history.
The 12-hour rampage started late on Saturday and ended with a car chase.
Police said the suspect shot people at different locations in Nova Scotia, many of them randomly. He was killed in a confrontation with police.
He was reported to have been driving what looked like a police car.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described the attack as “a tragedy”.
“Violence of any kind has no place in Canada. We stand with you and we grieve with you,” he said, addressing the nation on Monday.
Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil told reporters this was “one of the most senseless acts of violence in our province’s history”.
The RCMP said on Monday that they believe there may be more victim within the remains of homes torched as part of the weekend’s attacks.
Mr Trudeau said that his government was “on the verge” of introducing bans to assault style weapons before parliament was dissolved amid the coronavirus outbreak.
“We have every intention of moving forward”, once the outbreak is curbed, he said.
At about 23:32 local time on Saturday (02:32 GMT on Sunday), the RCMP said officers were responding to a “firearms complaint” at a home in the small town of Portapique and advised residents to lock themselves indoors.
The officers found “several casualties” inside and outside the home, but did not find the suspect.
A neighbour told CBC News that he saw three properties were also on fire in the area at the time.
At 08:54 on Sunday, the RCMP said there was an “active shooter investigation” and that there were several victims. It identified the suspect as 51-year-old Gabriel Wortman, who owned three properties in Portapique.
RCMP officers continued pursuing Wortman for hours, following a series of crime scenes that police said were “scattered across the province” and which they are still working to piece together.
Wortman was later seen in the Glenholme and Debert areas, east of Portapique, driving what the appeared to be an RCMP vehicle and possibly wearing an RCMP uniform.
“There’s one difference between his car and our Royal Canadian Mounted Police vehicles: the car # [registration plate]. The suspect’s car is 28B11, behind rear passenger window. If you see 28B11, call 911 immediately,” the force tweeted.