Murder-Nova Scotia: RCMP, explains why she did not send alert

Tuerie en Nouvelle-Écosse: la GRC explique pourquoi elle n’a pas envoyé d’alerte

People place flags at a memorial in Portapique, Nova Scotia.

22 April 2020 15: 15

Updated at 17h52


Murder-Nova Scotia: RCMP, explains why she did not send alert

Michael MacDonald

The Canadian Press

Keith Doucette

The Canadian Press


HALIFAX — During an “active shooter” was moving Sunday morning in Nova Scotia, the us consulate in Halifax, sent email alerts to its nationals, to prevent the danger, when the RCMP turned to Twitter to pass on updates of the manhunt.

Some have wondered since then why no emergency alert was sent via cell phones, and televisions of nova scotians, as in the case of thunderstorms, for example, while a loose murderer was in progress, which will eventually 23 people dead, including the shooter.

When asked Wednesday at a press conference at prime minister Stephen McNeil why the province had not issued an emergency alert based on the information from the Twitter feed of the RCMP, he replied that the leaders of the emergency could not act before the police had prepared a message duly approved. However, “no message has been received from the RCMP, even if the Office had communicated several times during the morning with the federal police,” said the prime minister.

At a press conference, Wednesday, the superintendent of the RCMP Chris Leather recalled that the police had received a first call for shots to Portapique at 22h26 Saturday night.

Once arrived on the spot, the police determined that there had been a homicide, but they have not made before Sunday morning, 8h02, that the suspect had left the scene of the crime, explained the officer of the RCMP.

The emergency measures Office has contacted the RCMP at 10: 15 am to discuss a warning to the population, and the federal police was in the process of preparing an alert message when the suspect was eventually shot and killed by police nearly two hours later, said Mr. Leather on Wednesday.

They would have loved to know

Marcia R. Seitz-Ehler, a spokesperson for the u.s. consulate in Halifax, said the warning email came from the Twitter account information to the RCMP. We warned the us nationals in Nova Scotia that a shooter was active in Portapique and people were asked to stay home, doors locked. “This is the procedure, in case of an emergency, to alert american citizens to the region,” she said. It is not known precisely at what time these emails were sent, but we know that the first message from the RCMP on Twitter about an “active shooter” has been published on Sunday morning at 6h02.

The residents of some of the five communities where the killer has struck had said that they would have changed their behavior if an alert had been sent. David Matthews and his wife were walking in Wentworth, Sunday morning, when they heard a noise that could look like a shot – but maybe not at the bottom. When they returned home, some friends called them to tell them that there was an active shooter loose in the area. They learned later that another hiker had been killed that morning, on a road near here.

The RCMP confirmed Tuesday that the number of dead had risen to 23, including the alleged shooter. Among the 22 victims of the killer, was a teacher, two nurses, neighbors of the shooter, two correctional officers, a female police officer of the RCMP and a teenager of 17 years. The federal police confirmed on Wednesday that Gabriel Wortman, 51 years old, shot dead by police on Sunday, had acted alone; the investigation is continuing to determine if he had obtained assistance before moving to act.

The RCMP had already confirmed that the killer was wearing a genuine uniform of police. Earlier this week, the superintendent Leather had indicated that the suspect, on part of its route fatal, had led to a vehicle “identical” to a patrol car of the RCMP. Mr. Leather said on Wednesday that the RCMP did not know before 7 am or 8 am Sunday morning that the suspect was disguised as a police officer and was driving a fake police car. This information was given by a witness.

16 scenes of crimes

According to the RCMP, officers were dispatched Saturday to Portapique to 22: 30 for a complaint concerning weapons, but a series of subsequent calls to 9-1-1 has clearly indicated that someone was pulling on people in the region.

The RCMP officers quickly found several victims inside and outside of a residence in Portapique, but the assailant had already disappeared. Some of the houses in the area were also burned down.

The manhunt continued throughout the night and up to Sunday noon, in several small communities in northern Nova Scotia, including Wentworth, Debert and Shubenacadie. According to police, the suspect has shot people that he knew and other random. Wortman, a denturist of Halifax, a native of New Brunswick, was eventually shot dead by police in a service station at Enfield, on Sunday around noon.

The police investigation 16 crime scenes spread over 90 km, Portapique, Wentworth, Debert, Shubenacadie/Milford and Enfield. In total, five structures or vehicles were torched, although the precise sequence of events is not clear.

The canadian army has also been called to assist the RCMP to investigate one of the most important killings of the country’s history. In a statement, the army indicated that it has provided staff, modular tents, lamps, tables, chairs, and generators to several locations. Photos of Portapique show a big army truck and other smaller vehicles parked along the entrance road Portapique Beach, where the killings began on Saturday evening.

A retired officer of the RCMP explained that this vast police investigation will put a strain on the staff of the federal police in Nova Scotia. Pierre-Yves Bourduas, former deputy commissioner of the RCMP, is also of the opinion that the police will need help to do their work.

Le Soleil

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