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Nova Scotia Shooting: 16 Dead In Canada Shooting Rampage

A gunman killed at least 16 people in an overnight shooting rampage across rural Nova Scotia in eastern Canada, before his body was found after an hours-long manhunt.

Police earlier identified the gunman as Gabriel Wortman, 51, who had been on the run since Saturday night.

Police were alerted to shots being fired in the small community of Portapique, about 100 kilometres from Halifax, capital of the Atlantic province.

Several victims were discovered outside and inside a house in the town, as police launched a 12-hour manhunt across the province for the suspect.

They included a female officer of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, while a second officer was injured. "The search for the suspect ended this morning," RCMP Chief Superintendent Chris Leather said. "And I can confirm that he is deceased."

Police have not offered a motive for the attack, although the spokesman speculated that it was "very random in nature".

"What has unfolded overnight and into this morning is incomprehensible and many families are experiencing the loss of a loved one," Nova Scotia RCMP Commanding Officer, Assistant Commissioner Lee Bergerman, wrote on the force's local Facebook page.

"That includes our own RCMP family. It is with tremendous sadness that I share with you that we lost Constable Heidi Stevenson, a 23-year veteran of the Force who was killed this morning, while responding to an active shooter incident." In addition to Stevenson, who was a mother of two, a male officer was injured and is in hospital with non-life threatening injuries, Bergerman said.

The National Post newspaper said another victim was an elementary school teacher, citing a Facebook post from the woman's sister.

Police said that at one point, the suspect appeared to be wearing part of a police uniform and was driving a vehicle made to look like an RCMP cruiser.

RCMP tweeted several times that he was not an officer and warned he was considered "armed and dangerous."

"The initial search for the suspect led to multiple sites in the area, including structures that were on fire," Mr Leather told the news conference.

Another police spokesperson said, without further details, that the gunman was killed after an officer intervened.

An independent agency, the Serious Incident Response Team (SiRT), which probes certain incidents involving the province's police, said that it "is investigating the shooting of a male in Enfield by RCMP officers."

SiRT said in a statement that a confrontation had occurred in Enfield, which is near the Halifax airport, "resulting in officers discharging their firearms. The suspect was found to be deceased at the scene."

Police said they had no indication of a motive. RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki told local media there was no indication "at this point" of a terrorist intent.

"What I would say is that it appears to be at least in part, very random in nature," said Mr Leather.

"We are in the early stages of an incredibly detailed and complex investigation that has forever changed countless lives," he said. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement that he "was saddened to learn about the senseless violence in Nova Scotia," and he hopes for a full recovery of the wounded.

The National Post quoted Tom Taggart, a councillor who represents Portapique in the Municipality of Colchester, as saying the community was devastated.

He described the community as a "subdivision in the woods where people have acre lots along the shore," and where Wortman owned three properties.

"It's absolutely unbelievable this could happen in our community. I never dreamt this would happen here," Taggart said.

Despite a relatively high percentage of gun ownership in Canada, mass shootings are rare with only a couple of incidents a year.

In January, one person was killed and three left in serious condition after a shooting in Ottawa.

In July 2019, three people were killed, not including the two killers who were later found dead after a nationwide manhunt.

Content created and supplied by: Oladblog (via Opera News )

Canada Chris Leather Gabriel Wortman RCMP Royal Canadian Mounted Police

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