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

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

A sign indicating a COVID-19 testing site is displayed inside a parking garage in West Nyack, N.Y., Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. The site was only open to students and staff of Rockland County schools in an effort to test enough people to keep the schools open for in-person learning. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
4 more deaths, 54 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

This brings the total to 66 deaths in the region

Caleb Wykes, Jade Daniel and Alicia Dennis celebrate Australia Day at the Fernie Hotel and Pub. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)
Fernie Hotel celebrates the land down under

Sausages sizzled and Vegemite was spread as The Fernie Hotel celebrated Australia Day on Jan. 26.

Teck today announced the development of a new centralized office building in Sparwood, B.C. File photo
What’s in a brand? Sparwood logo turns 10

The five-point star and branding has adorned the district’s properties since 2011

A Half-moon hairstreak butterfly. (Image courtesy of Calgary Zoo)
Parks Canada, Calgary Zoo work to conserve butterflies in Waterton Lakes

Parks Canada will contribute $289,000 over three years for the project

Freshies barista, Craig Stoner at the new cafe location. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Freshies settles into new space

The new locatiom on 2nd Ave gives the popular cafe more space

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

Interior Health reported two more COVID-19 deaths at Sunnybank Retirement Center in Oliver Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19 claims lives of two more South Okanagan care home residents

Five residents of the Oliver care home have died since the outbreak was first declared

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)
Modelling of predicted transmission growth from the B117 COVID-19 variant in British Columbia. (Simon Fraser University)
COVID-19 variant predicted to cause ‘unmanageable’ case spike in B.C: report

SFU researchers predict a doubling of COVID-19 cases every two weeks if the variant spreads

Most Read