- Associated Press - Sunday, April 19, 2020

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia — Canadian police on Sunday arrested a suspect in an active shooter investigation after earlier saying he may have been driving a vehicle resembling a police car and wearing a police uniform.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police in a rural area of the Atlantic coast province of Nova Scotia said they arrested 51-year-old Gabriel Wortman and that several people are victims. They have not said whether the victims are injured or dead.

Police said he is not an RCMP employee or officer.

Police identified Wortman about nine hours after an initial tweet around midnight asking people to avoid the Portapique, Nova Scotia area and stay indoors as officers responded to a firearms complaint.

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



The Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Nova Scotia earlier advised the public to avoid the Debert area of the province and said Wortman may be in a vehicle resembling a Royal Canadian Mounted Police vehicle and may be wearing what appears to be an RCMP uniform. They later said he was driving a silver Chevy SUV.

“Deeply concerned by the news out of Portapique,” Canadian Public Safety Minister Bill Blair tweeted earlier.

A Gabriel Wortman is listed as a denturist in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, according to the Denturist Society of Nova Scotia website. A suspect photo issued by the RCMP matches video footage of a man being interviewed about dentures by CTV Atlantic in 2014.

Tom Taggart, a lawmaker 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,” Taggart said by phone from his home in Bass River, near the lockdown area.

“People live here because of the peace and quiet and it’s just an absolute tragedy,” he said.

Taggart said he didn’t know Wortman well, but spoke to him a few times when he telephoned about municipal issues.

Taggart described knowing Wortman’s “lovely big home” on Portapique Beach Road. He said Wortman owned a few other properties in the community and was believed to divide his time between Portapique and his business in Dartmouth.

He described Portapique as “cottage country,” with about 100 year-round residents and 250 in the summer.

“You just don’t even dream that this is going to happen,” he said. “I can’t fathom it.”

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