A woman pays her respects at a roadside memorial on Portapique Road in Portapique, N.S. on Friday, April 24, 2020. At least 22 people are dead after a man, who at one point wore a police uniform and drove a mock-up cruiser, went on a murder rampage in Portapique and several other Nova Scotia communities. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Nova Scotia gunman acquired police car last fall at auction: RCMP

51-year-old gunman killed 22 people

The replica police car driven by a gunman in Nova Scotia who killed 22 people this month was obtained in the fall of 2019, and was one of four former police vehicles the suspect bought at auctions, the RCMP say.

Supt. Darren Campbell said the 51-year-old shooter then outfitted the vehicle with a light bar and decals that made it look almost identical to a genuine RCMP vehicle.

“The gunman was a collector of many things, including police memorabilia,” Campbell told a news conference Tuesday. “He was in possession of multiple pieces of police uniforms from a variety of agencies.”

Campbell said many witnesses have come forward to confirm the killer had a keen interest in the RCMP.

However, the senior Mountie said police were not aware of Wortman’s collections of used police cars and uniforms.

The gunman was wearing an authentic RCMP shirt and yellow-striped pants during the initial part of his rampage, said Campbell, the officer in charge of support services for Nova Scotia.

Campbell also provided a more detailed timeline of what happened on April 18 and April 19, which filled in some details that were missing from a timeline he provided Friday.

The killings started in Portapique, N.S., and continued for the next 13 hours across a swath of northern and central Nova Scotia.

Campbell said investigators have established the gunman drove out of Portapique, crossing a field to avoid the only road, within minutes of police arriving on the scene. He said the first police unit arrived at 10:26 p.m. and a resident saw what looked like a police vehicle crossing the field at around 10:35 p.m.

They have established that he drove from there to Debert, where he remained until the next morning.

Police have yet to speculate about a motive, though they have confirmed the killing started after the suspect assaulted his common-law partner in Portapique, N.S.

The woman survived by fleeing her home and hiding in the nearby woods, but 13 others died in a neighbourhood along Portapique Beach Road.

On Friday, Campbell said the assault may have been a “catalyst” to the murders that followed. But on Tuesday, he stressed that no one should be left with the impression that the woman “had anything to do with the gunman continuing on with his rampage.”

“The word catalyst was used to express that that was the first victim in a series of very horrific events,” Campbell said.

“I want to be very clear that violence against women is intolerable. It’s real. It exists. I don’t want to be misunderstood, that the victim had any blame in relation to what occurred on those awful days.”

In all, investigators are combing through 16 crime scenes over a route through northern and central Nova Scotia that stretches for 90 kilometres.

READ MORE: Nova Scotia RCMP say shooter acted alone

READ MORE: Funerals and tributes for Nova Scotia victims, one week after mass shooting

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Mass shootingsNova ScotiaRCMPShooting

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep Saanich drainage pipe

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Police respond to successful Facebook scam on Oak Bay resident

Petty thievery in King George Terrace where plants, gargoyle are missing

Owner of Langford construction company gets nine months for sexual assault

Kyle Mostowy already spent time in prison for sexually assaulting employees

UPDATE: Incident near Mount Douglas Park ‘strictly medical,’ Saanich police say

Intoxicated person taken into police custody, brought to hospital

Victoria Clipper suspends services through April 2021

International travel restrictions, COVID-19 uncertainty lead to decision

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Suspicious fire quenched before reaching gunpowder in Nanaimo’s historic Bastion

Probe underway in basement blaze that erupted near where powder stored to fire signature cannons

Duncan model makes quarter finals in ‘Maxim’ magazine contest

Brandee Peart among top one per cent left in competition

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

Fisherman snags barracuda off Vancouver Island in rare encounter

Ferocious fish, not native to Canada, was netted and released in Alberni Inlet

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

Most Read