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John Hayward

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20 Apr 2020

A shooter, identified as 51-year-old Gabriel Wortman, killed 16 people and died in Nova Scotia in the worst shooting rampage in Canadian history, including one Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). No motive for the shootings was immediately apparent.

The slain RCMP officer was identified as Constable Heidi Stevenson, described by Canada’s Global News as a 23-year veteran of the force with a husband and two children. One of the victims was identified by the Nova Scotia Teachers Union as elementary school teacher Lisa McCully. According to the union, Constable Stevenson’s husband is also a teacher.

Two victims were identified by their union as nurses, Kristen Beaton and Heather O’Brien. O’Brien’s daughter said in a Facebook post on Sunday that “a monster murdered my mother today.”

A person familiar with several of the victims told the Chronicle Herald they belonged to the same family and said she was “speechless” at their senseless murder. A GoFundMe account has been established by a woman named Tammy Oliver-McCurdie to help with funeral expenses for three slain members of her family, described as her “sister, niece 17 years, and brother-in-law” named Jolene Oliver, Emily Tuck, and Aaron Tuck. The first RCMP alert related to the shooting spree occurred at 11:32 p.m. local time on Saturday night and involved a “firearms complaint” in which “several casualties” were discovered inside a residence.

According to a police statement on Sunday, Wortman put considerable planning into his killing spree, including RCMP disguises for both himself and his vehicle. Wortman’s mock police car was so carefully prepared that the RCMP noted only one major mistake that would be unlikely to trigger the suspicions of ordinary civilians: he painted the vehicle ID number in the wrong place.