Canada Shooting Toll Reaches 18; Police Expect to Find More Victims


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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the death toll in Sunday's 12-hour shooting rampage across the province of Nova Scotia, already the worst of its kind in Canada's history, has risen to 18.

Trudeau spoke to the nation Monday, one day after a gunman disguised as a police officer went on a 12-hour rampage shooting people in their homes, setting fires and killing at least 18 people, including a 23-year veteran policewoman.

In his comments, Trudeau said, "Such a tragedy should have never occurred. Violence of any kind has no place in Canada."

Police say the incident began overnight Saturday in the rural town of Portapique, about 100 kilometers north of Halifax. They say they responded to a house where gunshots were reported and found bodies inside and outside the house.

Bodies were also found at several other locations within a 50-kilometer area from that neighborhood. Authorities believe the shooter may have targeted his first victims but then began attacking randomly. Several houses in the area were set on fire.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Chief Superintendent Chris Leather told a news conference Monday that police expect to find more victims.

Police teams were spread out at 16 locations across central and northern Nova Scotia, he said. Some of the victims knew Wortman, and some didn't, he added.

"We're relatively confident we've identified all the crime scenes," Leather said. "We have had five structure fires, most of those being residences, and we believe there may be victims still within the remains of those homes which burnt to the ground."

Officials said the suspect, identified as 51-year-old Gabriel Wortman, was shot and killed by police. No motive for the killings was given.

Trudeau noted how close-knit the small province of Nova Scotia is.

"The vast majority of Nova Scotians will have a direct link with one or more of the victims. The entire province and country is grieving right now as we come to grips with something that is unimaginable," Trudeau told a news conference.

"The pandemic will prevent us from mourning together in person, but a vigil will be held virtually to celebrate the lives of the victims," Trudeau added, saying it would take place Friday night through a Facebook group.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.