Motives still unknown
By Tania Arora, Staff Writer
While the globe was dealing with the havoc caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, bullet shots were echoing in Nova Scotia. On April 18, police received emergency calls of a suspect on a killing rampage. Twenty-three people (including the murderer) have been reported to be dead at the hands of Gabriel Wortman, a 51-year-old denturist.
It all began from the small town Portapique in the region where the killer, who some theorize was triggered by a domestic violence dispute, burnt his own house and drove towards his ex-partner’s residence. The murderer allegedly set fire to five homes with residents inside them. Victims include a Royal Canadian Mountain Police (RCMP) officer, an elementary school teacher, health-care workers, a retired firefighter, and two corrections officers—the youngest victim being a 17-year-old teenager. His ex-girlfriend was his first victim, but she survived the attack by hiding in the woods overnight.
The murderer reportedly wore a near-identical police uniform and drove a vehicle which appeared to be similar to a police cruiser even though he was not employed by RCMP. The disguise helped him move around without being detected.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released an official statement on the death reports, “I was saddened to learn about the senseless violence in Nova Scotia, which claimed the lives of multiple people, including one member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Cst. Heidi Stevenson, a 23-year veteran of the Force,” he said. “Our hearts go out to the people who have lost loved ones, and to the RCMP family mourning a fallen officer. I also hope for a full recovery for the people who were injured, including one RCMP member who is in hospital being treated for non-life-threatening injuries.” He also thanked the first responders for their support throughout the situation considering the current circumstances.
CCTV footage released by one of the residents had the murderer where he had stopped his car a few hours before he was killed. He was seen changing his clothes before he proceeded. Police are still investigating the entire incident and trying to find out what was the motive behind the shooting.