Death toll rises in Nova Scotia’s mass shooting as investigators unveil more details

Death toll rises in Nova Scotia's mass shooting as investigators unveil more details
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Chief Supt. Chris Leather said there are currently 16 crime scenes spread across Portapique, N.S. and other nearby communities.

Investigators say a killer’s use of a mock police cruiser and an RCMP uniform almost identical to the real thing helped him escape detection as he travelled between 16 crime scenes during a mass shooting in Nova Scotia.

Officers have also now confirmed that the weekend rampage has left at least 19 dead in several small communities, with experts suggesting that number could increase.

Chief Superintendent Chris Leather told a news conference on April 20 that the crime scenes include five fires where it is feared additional bodies will be found inside homes that had burned to the ground.

He says that’s why they expect the death toll to rise in the coming days.

Leather added some victims knew the killer, while others did not.

Investigators in central and northern Nova Scotia are still trying to piece together the tragic event that took place over an estimated 12-hour span on April 18 and 19.

The shooter was killed Sunday after police intercepted him at a gas station in Enfield.

The gunman’s victims include an RCMP officer, a teacher, two nurses, neighbours of the assailant and two correctional officers killed in their home over 50 kilometres away.

For family members who are grieving, the common question amid their anguish is what could have motivated the carnage and police are still working hard to find more answers.

Earlier on Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau chose to use the time during his daily national address to discuss the mass shooting in Nova Scotia and forgo talking about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trudeau took time to thank first responders, offer a message of hope to children in this unsettling time and provide details of un upcoming vigil on April 24.

He also asked for the name of the shooter to not be shared around in an effort to “not give him the gift of infamy” from his violent actions. Instead, the Prime Minister wants Canadians to focus on the victims lost in the tragedy and their grieving loved ones.

With files to Canadian Press.



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