OTTAWA – At least 13 people were killed in a 12-hour shooting rampage in several communities in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia on Sunday, according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
At a press conference in Dartmouth of the province Sunday evening, Nova Scotia RCMP Chief Superintendent Chris Leather confirmed there were at least 13 people killed in several locations across the province, including an RCMP officer.
Leather said there may be more victims who have not been discovered yet and their investigation is continuing.
The gunman was identified as Gabriel Wortman, 51. His shooting rampage began late Saturday night in Portapique, about 130 kilometers north of Halifax, the capital city of Nova Scotia.
Police first responded to a firearms complaint at a residence after receiving several 911 calls. They rushed to the residence, finding “several casualties” inside and outside of the home.
“This was a very quickly evolving situation and a chaotic scene,” said Leather.
Calling on residents to remain in their homes with their doors locked, police secured the area in Portapique and started searching for the gunman in several sites in the area, including structures that were on fire.
Police began to chase the gunman and gunfire was exchanged between the police and the gunman. A female police officer was killed and a policeman injured.
The chase ended near a gas station about 35 kilometers north of Halifax around 12 a.m. Sunday local time when the gunman was killed.
“The 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.
Leather said some of the victims did not appear to know the gunman.
In a statement, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered his condolences. “My heart goes out to everyone affected in what is a terrible situation. I want to thank the police for their hard work and people for cooperating with authorities.”
Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil expressed his shock to the horrific incident. “This is one of the most senseless acts of violence in our province’s history.”
“Our hearts are heavy with grief and sadness today as we have lost one of our own. Our thoughts go out to our member’s family and friends,” said Brian Sauve, president of the Canadian National Police Federation union, in a statement. (Xinhua)