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RCMP officers who killed Nova Scotia gunman will not face criminal charges

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Two RCMP officers who shot and killed gunman Gabriel Wortman at a gas station in Enfield, N.S., on April 19 will not face criminal charges for their actions in the line of duty.

A report from Nova Scotia’s Serious Incident Response Team (SiRT) released Thursday said the officers’ actions were justified and that it was reasonable for them to shoot Wortman, who was armed with a pistol at the time of his death.

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“(The officers) both witnessed first-hand the results of the (gunman’s) murderous acts in Portapique when they came upon several victims lying dead where they had been shot and various buildings burned to the ground and vehicles set on fire by the (gunman),” the SiRT report said.

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The report also says one of the officers recognized the gunman from photos he’d seen at an RCMP command post. Once he recognized the gunman, he drew his weapon and alerted the other officer.

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“As soon as (the first officer) recognized the (gunman) and yelled out to (the second officer), the (gunman) raised a pistol he had. At that moment (the first officer) knew the (gunman) was an immediate threat and split-second high consequence decisions were made.

“Both (officers) began firing their weapons to stop the imminent threat of death or grievous bodily harm. Their actions under these circumstances were lawfully justified and not excessive.

“Accordingly, there is no basis to conclude that the (officers) committed any criminal offence, therefore no charges are warranted against either officer.”

The SIRT report says the gunman had a noticeable wound on his head and blood on his forehead before he was shot and killed by police.

The gunman was on his way to the Halifax-Dartmouth area when he was killed, the SIRT report said.

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