Canada had its worst mass shooting ever over the weekend

Canada had its worse ever mass shooting over the weekend when a 51-year-old man went door-to-door in Nova Scotia shooting people who were observing a stay-at-home order. The death toll has changed several times in the past 24-hours. At present authorities are saying there are more than 19 dead, including the shooter.

It all started Saturday night when the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) announced they were responding to a “firearms complaint.”

By Sunday morning, police said there was an active shooter and then identified him as Gabriel Wortman:

After the initial shooting which involved people he knew, Wortman went on the run dressed as a policeman and driving a car which had been made to look like an RCMP vehicle:

Because the shooter was wearing what appeared to be an RCMP uniform and driving a fake RCMP vehicle, it seems there was some significant pre-meditation involved here. But so far it appears only the early targets were known to him. After that he just killed at random and his motive is unknown. This profile of the shooter reports he had said in his high school yearbook that he might one day want to join the RCMP:

The shooting spree ended with a shootout at a gas station many miles from where the attack began. The shooter was arrested but later died from his injuries. A witness said the restaurant near the gas station is usually filled with senior citizens on Sunday and speculated the shooter could have killed a lot more people there if not for the fact that the restaurant was closed because of the coronavirus.

Because the killer was free and on the run for so many hours over such a large area, police will only say the are “relatively confident” they have found all of the victims. So far there are 16 separate crime scenes.

The Globe and Mail has put up a page with photos and descriptions of several of the victims, including an RCMP constable named Heidi Stevenson who was killed when responding to the shooting. She was a mother of two. Here’s a clip from the latest announcement by authorities. If you want to see the full press conference, it’s here.