At 10.30pm on Saturday April 18, 2020, RCMP officers in the tiny town of Portapique received a call about a ‘person with firearms’. What would unfold turned out to be a massacre, and at least 23 people would die in Canada’s most deadly mass shooting.
The RCMP quickly released a statement:
‘Gabriel Wortman, 51, is considered armed and dangerous. He is described as a white man, bald, between 6’2” and 6’3” with green eyes.
Wortman may be driving what appears to be an RCMP vehicle and appear to be wearing an RCMP uniform.
Wortman’s vehicle is marked #28B11, behind rear passenger window. If anyone sees a RCMP car marked #28B11, they should call 911 immediately.
If you see Wortman, RCMP say not to approach him, but call 911.’
It emerged that Gabriel had purchased the RCMP cruiser at a police auction.
His facebook has now been removed- https://www.facebook.com/gabriel.wortman
Online records show that Gabriel owned a denture clinic and that he was a well known member of the community:
In the past, he had helped those who could not afford denture work, free of charge:
Denturist Gabriel Wortman says Hendsbee will have a new set of dentures, free of charge, by this time next week.
“My heart went out to her,” says Wortman. “There’s so many ways for people to get dentures, but it seems like the people who really need them are the people who are getting left behind.”
You can read more in the article – ‘There’s angels among us:’ Cancer survivor to receive new dentures” .
In the past ( we think possibly in February 2020), Wortman allegedly had a run in with some police officers who parked on his private property – you can read about that here.
After the RCMP responded to the first call for help, they found “several casualties” inside and outside of the home.
“This was a very quickly evolving situation and a chaotic scene,” said Chief Supt. Chris Leather, the criminal operations officer for Nova Scotia RCMP.
Officers searched the area for Wortman, but were unable to find him.
Residents of Portapique were urged to lock their doors and stay inside.
The search for Wortman went on into Sunday, April 19.
RCMP warned residents that Wortman had been spotted in the Debert area at 10.21am on Sunday.
At 11:04 a.m., police said Wortman was last seen travelling south on Highway 102 from the Brookfield, N.S., area in the vehicle that looked like an RCMP cruiser.
At 11:24 a.m., police said that Wortman was now driving a silver Chevrolet Tracker and had been spotted in Milford, N.S.
At 11:40 a.m., the RCMP tweeted that Wortman was in custody.
It quickly emerged that Wortman was not in custody and that he had actually been killed by police. He was killed outside the Irving gas station and Big Stop restaurant in Enfield, N.S., located roughly 40 kilometres from downtown Halifax.
The media are currently reporting that 13 people were killed by Wortman.
Wortman’s high school yearbook has been found online:
Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau has made a statement about the massacre:
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. 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.
Every day, law enforcement members put themselves in harm’s way to ensure our safety and well-being. I thank them, and all first responders, for their unwavering dedication, professionalism, and service, and for always being there for us. As a country, in moments like these, we come together to support one another. Together we will mourn with the families of the victims, and help them get through this difficult time.
Earlier today, I spoke with the RCMP Commissioner and the Premier of Nova Scotia to offer my condolences, on behalf of the Government of Canada. The people of Nova Scotia are strong and resilient, and we will be here to support them as they heal from this tragedy.
Click on the name of the victim for more information:
2 – Lisa McCully
3 – Greg Blair
4 – Jamie Blair
One family appears to have lost three members:
11 – Tom Bagley
12- Gina Marie Goulet
13- Lillian Hyslop
16 – Baby Beaton
19 – Tentatively identified as Joey Webber
20 – Joy Bond
21 – Peter Bond
22 – Peter Zahl
23 – Elizabeth Thomas
This blog contains breaking news and will be updated as info becomes available. Join our Facebook group for all the latest information.