The shooting rampage occurred in Canadian province of Nova Scotia is said to have been the worst mass shooting incident in the country's 30 years history, said Canadian police and provincial authorities. "This is one of the most senseless acts of violence in our province's history," said Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil.
Aman disguised as a police officer went on a shooting rampage on Sunday, killing 16 people. A police officer was also included in the victims. The dead officer was identified as Constable Heidi Stevenson, a mother of two and a 23-year veteran of the force.
The first scene of the crime was the small, rural town of Portapique where several bodies were found inside and outside one home, about 100km (60 miles) north of Halifax. Bodies were also found at other locations and buildings set on fire.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) spokesman Daniel Brien confirmed 16 people had been killed in addition to the suspect.
Police identified the man believed to be the shooter as Gabriel Wortman, 51, who was thought to live part of the time in Portapique. Authorities said he wore a police uniform at one point and made his car look like a RCMP vehicle.
The suspect was found to be deceased at the scene. There were half a dozen police vehicles at the scene of the gas station where the suspect died.
Mass shootings are relatively rare in Canada. The country overhauled its gun-control laws after its worst mass shooting in 1989, when gunman Marc Lepine killed 14 women and himself at Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique college.
It is illegal to possess an unregistered handgun or any kind of rapid-fire weapon in Canada. Purchasing a weapon requires training, a personal risk assessment, two references, spousal notification and criminal record checks.
"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," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement.