HALIFAX, Nova Scotia – Canadian police arrested a suspect Sunday in an active-shooter investigation after saying he may have been driving a vehicle resembling a police car and wearing a police uniform.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said they arrested Gabriel Wortman, 51. They said there were several victims but didn’t specify whether they were injured or dead.
Police identified Wortman about nine hours after an initial tweet around midnight asking people to avoid the Portapique 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.
“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, 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 was 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 Wortman’s “lovely big home” on Portapique Beach Road. He said Wortman owned a few other properties in the community and divided 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.”