Canada strengthen gun control in wake of mass shooting tragedy in Nova Scotia, RCMP providing new details

After the shooting in Nova Scotia, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to push ahead with tightening gun control in the country.

Speaking at a press conference on April 22 outside the Rideau Cottage, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, ” “In regards to gun control, we took very serious commitments in the election campaign and have moved forward — and are moving forward on them — to ensure that we’re strengthening gun control in this country. “

In other developments, according to Global News, investigators sources tell Global News that the shooting began after Gabriel Wortman quarreled with his girlfriend at a party at a nearby home in Portapique. They left the party and sources believe Wortment escalated the argument back at his cottage – assaulting his girlfriend and tied her up, but she escaped and hid in the woods.

Wortman left his cottage after the assault and started the shootings, beginning at the house where the party was being held and killed several people there.

Wortman was believed to have used a variety of guns throughout his crime, including rifle, handgun, and a shotgun.

It was from Wortman’s girlfriend that the police learned he was dressed as a police officer and driving a fake cruiser.

Police have yet to comment on the specific motives, and it is unclear whether the shootings were planned in advance.

Nova Scotia Shooting: RCMP providing new details on the tragic massacre

Gabriel Wortman, a 51-year-old denturist from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia committed mass murder this past weekend taking the lives of 22 victims including a 17-year-old girl and an on-duty RCMP officer, before he died. As the country and family of those affected by Canada’s worst mass shooting continues to mourn, many questions are being asked while ongoing investigations are taking place. 

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have provided new details regarding the tragic and horrific massacre that took place in Nova Scotia as investigations continue. Notably, details have emerged confirming that Wortman was wearing an authentic police uniform and driving a “very real look-alike” police car.

On its own, the impersonation of a police officer is a crime punishable by up to five years in prison. However, RCMP Chief Superintendent Chris Leather believes this had allowed the Nova Scotia shooter to move around the province easier and ahead of investigators.

“We can say that his ability to move around the province undetected was surely greatly benefited by the fact that he had a vehicle that looked identical in every way to a marked police car,” said the RCMP Chief Superintendent during a Monday afternoon press conference.

Wortman’s History of Collecting Police Gear

Former clients of Wortman’s denture clinic has spoken about his affinity for buying and refurbishing old police cars. 

Blaize Jones, a resident in Halifax, told Global News that he was a client of Wortman’s clinic and that Wortman frequently discussed his liking of remodelling and repairing unused police cars.

“He did talk about buying used vehicles from the auction in Nova Scotia,” said Jones. 

Another client of Wortman, Billy Swiminer, has said that Wortman would go to car auctions to purchase police cars which he would remodel in his spare time.

“He showed me pics of a cruiser that he redid,” Swiminer wrote. “It’s exactly like an actual RCMP police car, and he has the uniform to go with it!”

Possession of police equipment is not a crime, impersonating a police officer is

Although impersonating a police officer is a serious offence, Toronto criminal defence lawyer, Daniel Brown, has said that owning or possessing police equipment, whether real or a very good replica, isn’t a crime itself. 

Additionally, the Toronto criminal defence lawyer said that the reproduction of police symbols or decals, similar to the ones that were found on the vehicle Wortman was driving, is also not illegal.

However, Brown has said that people put a lot of trust in the police, and someone can abuse that trust by acting as if they are a police officer, which would be a serious criminal offence. 

According to the Criminal Code in Canada, it is an offence to “falsely represent” themselves to be a police officer whether it is done with or without the aid of uniforms. 

“Somebody might not pull over their vehicle on the side of a highway to a random stranger, but they may feel as though they’re obligated to if it was a police officer pulling them over,” explained Brown.

Initial Tweets about Wortman’s Police Car

On Sunday at approximately 10:17 a.m., the RCMP sent out a public twitter notification that Wortman was impersonating a police officer. 

The public notice was published 12 hours after the police have responded to a weapons complaint in Portapique, Nova Scotia, where they have first discovered Wortman’s victims. 

Shortly after the notice, the police published another public tweet confirming that Wortman is not an employee of the RCMP and that he was considered armed with a deadly weapon and is dangerous. 

Michael Arntfield, a criminologist at Western University described Wortman’s undetected movements in the province of Nova Scotia as remarkable and wonders if someone had “unwittingly” helped the would-be Nova Scotia shooter. Arntfield wonders if any questions were asked by those who may have helped Wortman unintentionally about why a convincing look-alike was needed to be made in the first place.

“Part of the reason he was able to remain undetected is, of course, this very convincing facsimile police vehicle and the uniform that he was wearing,” said Artnfield. “This is custom work. This is not something you just DIY” he further explained. 

Wortman’s History of Dubious Financial Practices

Before Wortman committed Canada’s worst mass shootings, records and interviews have suggested that the would-be shooter had already left a trail of victims in his wake, including his family. 

In 2010, Glynn Wortman, Gabriel Wortman’s uncle who has an auto-immune disease, bought a property in Portapique, Nova Scotia. Needing bridge financing, a temporary loan that bridges the gap between the time a property is sold and the new property is purchased, he turned to his brother’s son, Gabriel Wortman.

When Glynn Wortman’s condominium was sold in Edmonton, he repaid his nephew, however, Gabriel Wortman refused to release the property back to his uncle and claimed that his uncle continues to owe him money. 

Glynn Wortman would have to consult a lawyer and went to court where the case was taken to the Nova Scotia Supreme Court and had granted Glynn Wortman all the proceeds. 

In a similar case, Steven Zinck put his trust in Wortman to help him financially when his auto body shop fell on hard times and needed money to hang onto his family home in Mineville, Nova Scotia. 

Wortman would offer his help to Zinck however not too long after, Zinck was evicted from the house. What had made it worse was that the house was built by Zinck’s father and its contents were sold off.

“Somehow in the paperwork, he got it that he owned the house,” Zinck said. “He just sucked me right in,” said Zinck. “He knew what he was doing,” Zinck said. “It’s hard to explain, I was down and out and he stepped right in.”

Zinck said the police told him that he wasn’t the only victim and that he had done the same to others as well. 

Zinck returns to Nova Scotia every year to fish for lobster but can’t bring himself to drive past the home where he grew up. “It hurts me that bad that somebody would do that.”

“And then to do this.” referring to the tragic shooting that took place in Nova Scotia.

Wortman’s affinity to be a Police Officer

As investigations continue, it is seemingly becoming clear that Wortman really wanted to be a police officer. Wortman was a collector of police memorabilia and even wrote in his high school yearbook that he hoped to join the RCMP one day. 

Criminology Professor Michael Arntfield explained that “wannabe cops” generally fall into one of two categories: those who have an admiration for policing and those who use criminal impersonation to commit a crime. 

With details of his background as well as the evidence from the horrific shooting spree, Arntfield believes that Wortman is a combination of the two categories. 

“We see a merger here between the wannabe collector and the opportunist who was using a disguise for nefarious purposes,” Arntfield said. 

“How these people were targeted will remain to be seen. But again, this is without precedent on so many levels.”.

Sources: GlobalNews

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