At least 22 people were shot dead after a gunman went on a rampage in Novia Scotia over the weekend in Canada’s deadliest mass shooting to date.
The suspected gunman, Gabriel Wortman, a 51-year-old denturist, was dressed as a police officer and had disguised his car to look like a police vehicle.
Police said Wortman killed people in several locations over 12 hours across the rural town of Portapique, and some of his victims were not known to him.
People were shot in their homes and properties set on fire.
On Monday, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said they have recovered bodies from some of the locations of the fires.
A police spokesman confirmed that 22 people were killed in the attack, as well as the gunman.
Police have warned that the number of victims will almost certainly rise as investigators search through homes destroyed by the fires.
Officers were spread out across 16 locations in central and northern Nova Scotia, including the neighbourhood where the 12-hour attack began late on Saturday on Portapique Beach Road, where suspect Wortman lived.
Meanwhile, questions emerged on Tuesday about why a public emergency alert was not sent as the rampage ensued.
Despite police providing Twitter updates on the attack, there were no alerts that would have automatically popped up on mobile phones.
Wortman was arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police at a petrol station on Sunday. Police later announced he had died.
He wore a police uniform and made his car look like a Royal Canadian Mounted Police cruiser allowing him to travel easily within a 30 mile (50km) area around Portapique, where the rampage began, police said.
A police officer was among those killed.
Residents were warned in the neighbourhood to lock their doors and stay in their basements as the attacked unfolded.
The town, like the rest of the country, had been following government advice to remain at home because of the coronavirus pandemic, so most of the victims were inside their homes when the attack began.
However, no wider warning was issued.
Police have not yet provided a motive for the attack, but have said the case is not being investigated as terrorism.
Several bodies were found inside and outside one house on Portapique Beach Road, police said.
Remains were also found at other locations in Nova Scotia and police believe the gunman may have targeted his first victims but then continued the attack by shooting randomly as he drove around.
Wortman, who is believed to have acted alone, was not well known to police, according to Royal Canadian Mounted Police Commissioner Brenda Lucki.
She said police were still studying the crime scenes to determine what weapons were used.
Nova Scotia’s premier Stephen McNeil described the shooting as “one of the most senseless acts of violence in our province’s history”.
He added: “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.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said: “My heart goes out to everyone affected in what is a terrible situation”.
It is the deadliest shooting since a gunman killed 14 women in Montreal in 1989, a tragedy that resulted in an overhaul of Canada’s gun laws.
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