Nova Scotia shooting suspect shot and killed by police

By | April 19, 2020

HALIFAX — CTV News has learned that the suspect wanted in connection with a shooting incident involving several victims in Portapique, N.S. has been killed.

Multiple sources have told CTV News that Gabriel Wortman was killed by police outside the Irving gas station and Big Stop restaurant in Enfield, N.S., located roughly 40 kilometres from downtown Halifax. 

Police have only confirmed that Wortman had been taken into custody Sunday morning, but didn’t provide any additional details.

RCMP are expected to reveal more information about their investigation during a news conference at 6 p.m. AST.

Witnesses heard gunshots, saw body on the ground

A truck driver from Ontario told CTV News he had stopped at the Irving for a shower and breakfast when he heard an employee shouting.

“She goes, ‘Oh my God, lock the doors, he’s here! And I peek out of the window and I saw some RCMP vehicles and there was four or five uniforms with guns,” said the driver, who identified himself as Tom.

Witnesses told CTV News they saw RCMP vehicles on scene, heard multiple gunshots, and saw a body on the ground.

“All I could hear was gunshots and my wife, I thought I was going to call 911, because she was going into panic, it scared her so bad,” said Glen Hines, who was driving by the Irving when he saw the Emergency Response Team arrive.

“There was multiple, like probably between five or 10 (gunshots). It was steady,” recalled Deon Wells, who lives nearby.

The RCMP had blocked off Highway 102 at Exit 5A and there was a large police presence at the Big Stop Sunday. The area surrounding the restaurant and gas station was cordoned off with police tape.

The interim director of Nova Scotia’s Serious Incident Response Team — which investigates all serious incidents involving police — confirmed they have investigators on scene in Enfield. 

Situation started to unfold Saturday evening

The shooting suspect has been identified as 51-year-old Gabriel Wortman.

The RCMP say the situation started to unfold late Saturday evening when officers responded to a firearms complaint in Portapique, N.S., a small community located roughly 130 kilometres north of Halifax.  

Police provided updates on Twitter overnight, confirming that they were responding to an “active shooter situation,” and asking residents to remain in their homes with their doors locked.

Police have not confirmed any details about the shooting incident, but they do say it involves “several victims.” There is no word on their identities or how many people may have been killed or injured.

Investigators first released the suspect’s identity before 9 a.m. Sunday. They said Wortman was considered armed and dangerous and warned that he should not be approached.

Suspect travelled in vehicle resembling RCMP cruiser

Around 10 a.m., police warned that Wortman was travelling on Highway 4 near Hidden Hilltop Campground in Glenholme, N.S. and urged residents to avoid the area and lock their doors.

A short time later, police said that Wortman may be driving what appeared to be an RCMP vehicle and wearing an RCMP uniform — though he is not an RCMP officer.

Wortman continue to travel across the province Sunday morning, with police warning at 10:21 a.m. that he had been spotted in the Debert area.

At 11:04 a.m., police said Wortman was last seen travelling south on Highway 102 from the Brookfield, N.S., area in the vehicle that looked like an RCMP cruiser.

At 11:24 a.m., police said that Wortman was now driving a silver Chevrolet Tracker and had been spotted in Milford, N.S.

At 11:40 a.m., the RCMP confirmed that Wortman was in custody.

This is a developing story. More to come.



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