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

Lumby Lions name Good Citizen of the Year

Award goes to Lumby Food Bank operator and North Okanagan Valley Gleaners volunteer Robert Wilkinson

North Okanagan sisters-in-law sleep out successful

Kiley Routley and Heidi Routley raise nearly $2,400 and awareness for youth homelessness

Vernon youth questioned by RCMP after incident on school roof

Police receive reports of debris being thrown from Seaton Secondary roof Saturday

Vernon restaurant winging it with colour

Wings hosts colouring contests where child patrons can win gift certificates

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Dozens of fish die at popular lake near Chase

A few natural phenomena are possible causes for their deaths.

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Most Read