Ottawa, Apr 20: At least 16 people were killed, including a female cop and several others wounded when a gunman in Portapique, Nova Scotia province of Canada went on a 12-hour shooting spree on late Sunday.
According to the police the dead included a police officer, while the culprit has been identified as 51-year-old Gabriel Wortman, who also died after shooting people in several locations across the province. Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil called the incident "one of the most senseless acts of violence" in the province's history. 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." Authorities have said that the suspected gunman disguised himself as a police officer in uniform at one point and mocked up a car to make it seem like a police cruiser. He was arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in a gas station in Enfield, Nova Scotia, northwest of downtown Halifax.
Police later announced that he had died. Officials would not confirm a report that Wortman had been shot and killed by the RCMP. "Today is a devastating day for Nova Scotia and it will remain etched in the minds of many, for years to come. What has unfolded overnight and into this morning is incomprehensible and many families are experiencing the loss of a loved one. That includes our own RCMP family.", Nova Scotia RCMP Commanding Officer, Assistant Commissioner Lee Bergerman said in a statement.
"It is with tremendous sadness that I share with you that we lost Cst. Heidi Stevenson, a 23-year veteran of the Force who was killed this morning, while responding to an active shooter incident", she said. Heidi answered the call of duty and lost her life while protecting those she served. "Earlier this afternoon, I met with Heidi’s family and there are no words to describe their pain. Two children have lost their mother and a husband his wife. Parents lost their daughter and countless others lost an incredible friend and colleague.
Heidi’s family is a part of our RCMP family and we will embrace and support them in the days, weeks and months ahead", the Commissioner said. She apprised that the tragic incident has also resulted in many victims outside of the RCMP. The incident is being termed as the worst act of mass murder the country has seen in 30 years as mass shootings are relatively rare in Canada where gun ownership laws are stricter than in the neighbouring United States. (UNI)