Nova Scotia RCMP have released new details about last month’s mass shooting, including that they will be conducting a psychological autopsy on the gunman who killed 22 people.
In a news release Monday morning, RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Lisa Croteau said the psychological autopsy will be conducted by the RCMP’s behavioural analysis unit “with the intent of gathering insights into why he committed the acts of violence.”
“This includes an analysis of his personality, past behaviour and how he related to others,” Croteau announced.
Gabriel Wortman is the lone suspect in the shooting that spanned five rural Nova Scotia communities over a 13-hour period on April 18 and 19.
The rampage began in Portapique, N.S., and ended roughly 100 kilometres away outside a gas station in Enfield, N.S., where the shooter was killed.
With 22 people killed, the incident marked the deadliest mass shooting in modern Canadian history.
Supplier of RCMP decals identified
During the shootings, Wortman was driving a replica police vehicle and wearing an authentic police uniform.
In Monday’s updated press release, Croteau announced that investigators have identified the supplier used to make the RCMP decals that were on the gunman’s car.
“The decals were created without permission of the business owner. The business owner and individual who made the decals are both co-operating with police,” Croteau said.
Police have said they have been investigating how Wortman came to be in possession of four police-packaged Ford vehicles and multiple items from police uniforms from a variety of agencies.
RCMP have confirmed he purchased his mock-up police vehicles from auctions, but they are still investigating how he obtained the authentic police uniform.
Wortman had 4 semi-automatic weapons
According to police, the gunman had two semi-automatic handguns and two semi-automatic rifles in his possession when he fled the Portapique area on Saturday, April 18, where he killed 13 of his victims.
Croteau said one of the guns has been traced to Canada and the remainder of those recovered are believed to have been obtained in the United States.
“The RCMP is working with the Canada Border Services Agency on the investigation on any cross-border or border-related elements,” Croteau said.
Police are not releasing the calibre of the weapons “because determining where and how the gunman obtained the firearms is a central part of the investigation.”
“We use this detailed information to verify the credibility of some of the information we receive,” Croteau said.
Gunman used gasoline to set fires
Police have confirmed that nine of the victims died in house fires and 13 were shot.
RCMP say they now believe Wortman used “an accelerant” to set the fires.
“From witness statements, we know the gunman had a significant supply of gasoline at his home in Portapique,” Croteau said.
Police have also said that Wortman set his own home on fire prior to fleeing the Portapique area.
“Using ground-penetrating radar, with support from Dalhousie University, forensic identification officers searched the underground of the gunman’s property in Portapique,” Croteau said.
“This was done to determine whether anything of relevance or interest to the investigation was buried on the property, and nothing was recovered.”
Croteau added that the RCMP’s special tactical operations team has completed its ground searches, and all 17 scenes and search areas have been released.
“We thank the public and property owners for their patience in allowing us to do our due diligence in carrying out our work,” Croteau said.
Croteau said police have now spoken to 500 witnesses and are continuing to conduct interviews.
“We thank all those who have spoken with investigators and to all of those who have submitted tips and video,” she said.
Nova Scotia RCMP are looking to speak with anyone who may have had a conflict with the gunman, whether professional or personal, at any time. Please call the tip line at 1-833-570-0121.