The Nova Scotia gunman who killed 22 people last month openly displayed the replica RCMP cruiser in his home at least five months before the rampage, according to a photo obtained by Global News.
The photo taken inside Gabriel Wortman’s home in Portapique, N.S., shows what appears to be the same mock cruiser used during the rampage.
The photo shows a white Ford Taurus adorned with RCMP decals, and the identifying number 28B11.
This appears to be the same number that RCMP highlighted on Twitter alerting the public to a mock cruiser the gunman used on April 18 and 19, as he killed 22 people in a series of shootings and house fires.
Another photo also shows a fully stocked bar next to the vehicle.
The photos are among several taken last November by a contractor who had discussed doing work at the gunman’s home. The contractor, who spoke with Global News on the condition of anonymity, said he turned the images over to investigators in the aftermath of the shootings.
Global News reached out to RCMP for comment on the photos, but investigators declined to comment.
How the gunman managed to create the nearly identical RCMP cruiser and obtain an authentic police uniform are part of the Mounties’ ongoing investigation into the mass shootings.
The RCMP said the replica vehicle and uniform helped the gunman gain an advantage over both police and the public.
Investigators have now determined where the gunman obtained the decals featuring the Mountie’ distinctive stripes and logos, the RCMP said in a statement Monday.
Police did not reveal the name or location of the supplier, but said the person who made graphics did so without the permission of the business owner, and both people are cooperating with police.
Police also did not disclose if the person who made the decals worked at the business.
RCMP Supt. Darren Campbell told reporters last month that following the murders of more than a dozen people in the Portapique, N.S., area, the gunman escaped by driving a replica police car through a field.
Campbell said that police learned the gunman was in possession of three plated vehicles that were probably former police vehicles. Police later learned in early hours of April 19, the gunman was wearing a Mountie uniform and was driving a fourth replica cruiser.
“He didn’t hide that fact — that he had cars or memorabilia — from people that knew him,” Campbell told reporters.
However, Campbell denied reports that police were aware of these collections.
Previous clients of the gunman’s denture clinic told Global News he openly talked about and flashed pictures of refurbished old police vehicles. Police forces across Canada often sell decommissioned, stripped-down police vehicles at auctions, available to anyone with a credit card.
The RCMP have also announced a “psychological autopsy” in the hope of better understanding what led to the terrifying 13-hour rampage that killed RCMP Const. Heidi Stevenson, a teacher, health-care workers, and a family of three among others.
“The RCMP’s Behavioural Analysis Unit is conducting a psychological autopsy of the gunman, with the intent of gathering insights into why he committed the acts of violence,” the RCMP said in statement.
“This includes an analysis of his personality, past behaviour and how he related to others.”
Such autopsies examine a wide range of issues — everything from how a killer relates to others, to warning signs, to abuse he might have perpetrated or suffered, previously, according to experts.
Simon Sherry, a psychology professor at Dalhousie University, said these types of autopsies can help provide a motive or offer details on preventative measures around mass murder.
“Those efforts can inform prevention. We can’t have Portapique be just another mass shooting,” Sherry said.
“We need to look closely at all opportunities available to prevent this type of event from happening again.”
— With files from Andrew Russell