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At Least 16 People Were Killed In A Shooting Rampage In Canada

The suspected gunman impersonated a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer during a manhunt before he died, authorities said.

Last updated on April 19, 2020, at 10:12 p.m. ET

Posted on April 19, 2020, at 6:02 p.m. ET

Tim Krochak / The Canadian Press via AP

A 51-year-old Canadian man killed at least 16 people in a deadly rampage across the Canadian province of Nova Scotia on Sunday.

The man led authorities on an hours-long manhunt, during which he impersonated a police officer, before he was apprehended and died, authorities said.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) first responded to what they initially described as a firearms call Saturday night at a residence in Portapique, a community of about 100 people in Nova Scotia. When police arrived on the scene, they found several victims, both dead and injured, inside and outside of the home, but they could not locate the suspect.

RCMP Chief Superintendent Chris Leather said police were led to multiple sites in the area, including buildings that were on fire, as they searched for the suspect overnight and into the morning. Police later identified the suspect as Gabriel Wortman and said he appeared to have fled the area in what looked like an RCMP car and uniform.

51-year-old Gabriel Wortman is the suspect in our active shooter investigation in #Portapique. There are several victims. He is considered armed & dangerous. If you see him, call 911. DO NOT approach. He’s described as a white man, bald, 6’2-6’3 with green eyes.

They continued to search for the suspect throughout the province before locating him sometime Sunday morning. Leather said Wortman has been confirmed to be dead. It wasn't immediately clear how Wortman died.

Leather said that officers were "involved in terminating the threat," and at one point a shootout occurred.

Police still have not been able to process all of the crime scenes, Leather said Sunday evening, adding that the shooting locations were scattered throughout the province and that there were victims at several.

An RCMP spokesperson confirmed to AP late on Sunday that 16 people, not including Wortman, had been killed in the rampage. A police officer, Constable Heidi Stevenson, is among the dead.

Leather said it was too early in the investigation to determine a motive for the rampage, but he said the circumstances suggested that there was some planning involved and that Wortman acted alone.

#Colchester: Gabriel Wortman may be driving what appears to be an RCMP vehicle & may be wearing an RCMP uniform. There's 1 difference btwn his car and our RCMP vehicles: the car #. The suspect's car is 28B11, behind rear passenger window. If you see 28B11 call 911 immediately.

"The fact that this individual had a uniform and a police car at his disposal certainly speaks to it not being a random act," Leather said during a press conference.

Officials did not provide information on any possible relationships between the victims and the shooter, however Leather said some of the victims "appeared not to have a relationship with the assailant."

Before Sunday, Canada's deadliest mass shooting had been in 1989, when gunman Marc Lepine murdered 14 women and then killed himself at the Ecole Polytechnique college in Montreal, Quebec.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.