RCMP in Nova Scotia released a detailed account of what happened during a mass-shooting rampage last weekend. Police say the fact the gunman looked like a police officer made trying to catch him extremely dangerous and very complicated.
The gunman is alleged to have killed at least 22 people in six communities in the span of 13-hours. The 51-year-old man died after exchanging gunfire with police.
There were three shooting events Saturday night, into Sunday morning.
There were three shooting events Saturday night, into Sunday morning. RCMP Supt. Darren Campbell said the gunman’s girlfriend provided police with crucial details that helped them track him. Campbell says after the woman escaped from an assault at her home Saturday night, she hid in the woods for hours.
That assault could have been “a catalyst to start” the chain of events that ended the next day with 22 people dead.
Police were called at 10:26 p.m. Saturday night when a man in Portapique said he was shot by someone in a passing car that looked like a police vehicle.
RCMP then found several victims dead on the roadway and several homes that had been set on fire. Campbell said many of the victims at those homes died trying to help others. “These people are true heroes,” he said. “To call this a tragedy would be an understatement.”
The gunman then pulled-over two vehicles using his fake RCMP cruiser and shot each driver dead.
The gunman then pulled-over two vehicles using his fake RCMP cruiser and shot each driver dead. Supt. Campbell said the gunman came up as a possible suspect overnight, so they did background checks. Police learned there were three plated Ford Taurus vehicles believed to be former police vehicles. Campbell says one of those vehicles was located at a Halifax address, while the two others were on fire in Portapique.
RCMP believed the gunman might have committed suicide in his burning house Sunday morning. “At that time, we thought it was a localized incident, two kilometres by two kilometres was heavily locked down with a significant number of resources,” said Campbell.
Campbell says they believed the suspect was surrounded and his known vehicles were accounted for. However, they eventually found out a vehicle had been seen driving through a field.
Campbell says the gunman drove an SUV to the home of a female he knew, shot and killed her, and then took her red Mazda 3. The gunman then removed his uniform before arriving at the Enfield Irving Big Stop where another officer – who had stopped to refuel – killed him.
Moment of silence at 1pm, online vigil at 7pm Friday
A moment of silence will be observed Friday afternoon as Canadians wear red to show their support to the victims and their families. There’s also a virtual vigil at 7pm Friday evening with musicians, spiritual leaders and community members. You can click HERE for that live Facebook event. You can donate to the victims and their families at NovaScotiaremembers.com.