Nova Scotia RCMP identify more than 400 witnesses in shooting rampage

Nova Scotia RCMP say they’ve identified 435 witnesses in their investigation into a gunman’s deadly rampage more than a week ago.

Supt. Darren Campbell said police have already interviewed more than half of those people, and he encouraged anyone else who may have information to reach out to police.

Campbell said the focus of the investigation is on how the gunman acquired a police uniform and vehicles that resembled RCMP vehicles. Police are also trying to track the gunman’s activity and movements on April 18 and 19, and learn whether anyone helped him.

Last Friday, Campbell laid out a timeline for the mass shooting that began in the quiet seaside community of Portapqiue, N.S., the night of April 18.

It ended 13 hours later when police shot and killed the gunman at a gas station in Enfield, nearly 100 kilometres away from where the first shots were fired.

Disguised as a police officer and at times driving a mock RCMP cruiser, he killed 22 people.

Holes in the timeline

While police have begun to fill in some of the details of what happened, there are still holes in the timeline, including when the first 911 call came in and how long it took officers to respond.

When police arrived in the Portapique area at 10:26 p.m. on April 18 they found dead bodies on the road and several homes on fire.

But RCMP say it wasn’t until the next morning when they spoke with the gunman’s girlfriend that they learned he was disguised as one of them.

The woman had been attacked and forcibly restrained by the suspect, 51-year-old Gabriel Wortman, but managed to escape and hide overnight in the woods.

The investigation, which requires sifting through 16 crime scenes, is a colossal undertaking, experts say.

The victims of one of Canada’s deadliest mass killings were remembered on Friday night during a virtual vigil that included a moving fiddle duet by Natalie MacMaster and a clip of the youngest victim, 17-year-old Emily Tuck.


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