Questions about a reason remain as the RCMP collects evidence of a deadly rampage in Nova Scotia over the weekend, which left at least 19 people dead and the suspect dead.
Investigators are now tasked with discovering the suspect’s brutal path through the province, warning Monday that the death toll could increase as the investigation continues.
The protracted attack, which has left crime scenes scattered across the province, appears to be “at least in part, very random in nature,” said the RCMP chief superintendent. Chris Leather said at a press conference on Sunday evening.
According to the RCMP, at one point in the incident, the suspect was driving what appeared to be an RCMP vehicle and wearing an RCMP uniform – even though he was not an RCMP officer. The 51-year-old suspect is believed to be responsible for all of the deaths.
WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT THE SUSPECT
Identified as Gabriel Wortman, 51, the suspect was registered as a denturologist in Dartmouth, according to the Denturist Society of Nova Scotia website. A suspicious photo released by the RCMP is from a video clip of a man interviewed about dentures by CTV Atlantic in 2014.
A photo from the Riverview High School in New Brunswick yearbook indicates that he aspired to become an RCMP officer.
Todd Battis, Atlantic Bureau chief for CTV News, attended high school with the suspect and confirmed his aspirations for the directory.
Those who knew Wortman told CTV News that he had recovered cars and motorcycles. He allegedly bought two old police cars which were parked behind the dental clinic where he worked.
“These are two Mountie cars,” neighbor Bill McCormack told CTV News Atlantic. “I never told her about it. “
The RCMP said on Monday that a fake police car was found at the scene of an RCMP officer’s death. The car was set on fire.
Officials also noted that Wortman was wearing an RCMP uniform during part of the attack. Although the origin of the uniform is unknown, police say they have reason to believe it was authentic or a “very good” reproduction.
In the rural town of Portapique, where the rampage began, residents who knew the suspect described him as a polite, proud man, often spending time in a seasonal house overlooking Cobequid Bay.
Tammy Oliver-McCurdie, sister of one of the victims, told CTV News on Monday that her family was close to Wortman. She says that, although they have had disagreements in the past, her sister did not mention anything that would have caused such an attack.
The RCMP said at a press conference on Monday that Wortman knew and “targeted” some of the victims killed in the attack. Others he did not know, officials said.
The RCMP did not specify the relationship between the suspect and the victims, citing the ongoing investigation.