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At least 13 people dead after N.S. gunman’s rampage, and police say toll could grow

At least 13 people were killed during a gunman’s bloody 12-hour rampage through several Nova Scotia communities, and police warn there may be more victims.

In an update on Sunday evening, Nova Scotia RCMP first said at least 10 people were killed in several locations across the province, including a veteran RCMP officer. But the toll rose to at least 13.

Police said there may be more victims who have not been discovered yet and their investigation continues.

Later on Sunday evening, RCMP Commissoner Brenda Lucki said police know of at least 13 victims, besides the shooter. She also confirmed the incident is not terror-related at this time.

RCMP identified the gunman as Gabriel Wortman, 51. His rampage began late Saturday night in the small community of Portapique, N.S. He led police on a chase Sunday morning along one of the province’s busiest highways.

The chase ended near a gas station about 35 kilometres north of Halifax in Enfield, N.S., around 11:40 a.m. local time. Police confirmed Sunday evening that the gunman was dead.

RCMP Chief Supt. Chris Leather said gunfire was exchanged between police and the suspect at at least one point.

 

Motive turned to ‘randomness’

Lucki said she believed the shooter had an initial “motivation” at the beginning that “turned to randomness.”

“Our investigation will tell that. We don’t know for sure, and we’re going to have to do a lot of work on finding the motivation — a lot of background, a lot of profiling-type events and a lot of crime scene processing,” she said.

The RCMP will also be calling on their subject-matter experts in forensics and criminal profiling, Lucki said. “Whatever it takes so that we can give the families of the victims answers to the many questions that they probably have.”

Police victim identified

Const. Heidi Stevenson, a 23-year veteran of the RCMP, has been identified as the police member who was killed responding to the active shooter incident. “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,” Assistant Commissioner Lee Bergerman told reporters Sunday evening.

“Two children have lost their mother. And a husband has lost his wife. Parents have lost their daughter and countless others lost an incredible friend and colleague.” Bergerman also said a second male officer was injured and is in hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Const. Heidi Stevenson is seen in a 2015 photo posted to the Nova Scotia RCMP’s Facebook page. Police confirmed on Sunday that Stevenson was killed during a gunman’s rampage that claimed at least 10 lives. (Nova Scotia RCMP/Facebook)

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