Canadian police officer killed in Nova Scotia shooting rampage

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Nova Scotia, Canada, Shooting
RCMP cruisers in the parking lot of the Enfield Big Stop (Chris Halef/HalifaxToday.ca/News97.5)

A Canadian police officer has been killed and another injured after a shooting rampage in Nova Scotia.

A suspect was arrested at a petrol station after the shootings left “multiple victims”, police said.

The man identified by police as 51-year-old Gabriel Wortman was arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Enfield, north west of central Halifax.

By late morning, there were half a dozen police vehicles at the scene. Yellow police tape surrounded the petrol pumps, and a large silver-coloured SUV was being investigated by police.

“Our hearts are heavy with grief and sadness today as we have lost one of our own,” said Brian Sauve, president of the National Police Federation union. “A second dedicated member was injured in the line of duty.”

The incident started in the small, rural town of Portapique, with police advising residents to lock their homes and stay in their basements.

Several building fires were reported by residents as well.

“I never imagined when I went to bed last night that I would wake up to the horrific news that an active shooter was on the loose in Nova Scotia,″ Nova Scotia premier Stephen McNeil said.

“This is one of the most senseless acts of violence in our province’s history,” he said.

He said it was an additional “heavy burden” amid efforts to contain the new coronavirus.

Lisa Croteau, a spokeswoman with the provincial force, said police received a call about “a person with firearms” at around 10.30pm on Saturday and the investigation “evolved into an active shooting investigation”.

“My heart goes out to everyone affected in what is a terrible situation,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.

Christine Mills, a resident of the town, said it had been a frightening night for the small town, with armed officers patrolling the streets. In the morning, helicopters flew overhead searching for the suspect.

“I feel better now to know he’s in custody,″ Ms Mills said. “It’s nerve-wracking because you don’t know if somebody has lost their mind and is going to beat in your front door.”

Tom Taggart, a lawmaker who represents the Portapique area in the municipality of Colchester, said the quiet community has been shaken.

“This is just an absolutely wonderful, peaceful quiet community and the idea that this could happen in our community is unbelievable,″ Mr Taggart said by phone from his home in Bass River, near the lockdown area.

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