Canadian police say 22 victims after rampage in Nova Scotia

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A memorial pays tribute to Royal Canadian Mounted Police Constable Heidi Stevenson, a mother of two and a 23-year veteran of the force, along the highway in Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia, on Tuesday, April 21, 2020. Canadian police are investigating at 16 crime scenes after a weekend rampage by a gunman disguised as a police officer left at least 18 dead, including Stevenson, and homes in smoldering ruins in rural communities across Nova Scotia. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press via AP)

TORONTO, ONT – Canadian police said Tuesday they believe there are at least 22 victims after a gunman wearing a police uniform shot people in their homes and set fires in a rampage across rural communities in Nova Scotia over the weekend.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said they have recovered remains from some of the destroyed homes. Earlier, authorities had said at least 18 people were killed in the 12-hour attack.

Officials said the suspect, identified as 51-year-old Gabriel Wortman, was shot and later died on Sunday. Authorities did not provide further details or give a motive for the killings.

The dead include a 17-year-old as well as a police officer, a police news release said. All the other victims were adults and included both men and women. There were 16 crime scenes in five different communities in northern and central Nova Scotia, it said.

“Some of the victims were known to Gabriel Wortman and were targeted while others were not known to him,” the police statement said.

Authorities also confirmed Wortman was wearing an authentic police uniform and one of the cars he used “was a very real look-alike RCMP vehicle.”

“This is an unprecedented incident that has resulted in incredible loss and heartbreak for countless families and loved ones. So many lives will be forever touched,” the police statement said.

In an earlier news release authorities had said they believed there were 23 victims, but Royal Canadian Mounted Police spokesman Daniel Brien later clarified the death toll included 22 victims and the gunman.