Many knew of N.S. killer’s replica RCMP patrol car but didn’t report to police, inquiry hears

Many knew of N.S. killer's replica RCMP patrol car but didn't report to police, inquiry hears
Commission counsel Roger Burrill presents information about the police paraphernalia used by Gabriel Wortman, at the Mass Casualty Commission inquiry into the mass murders in rural Nova Scotia on April 18/19, 2020, in Halifax on Monday, April 25, 2022. Wortman, dressed as an RCMP officer and driving a replica police cruiser, murdered 22 people. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

HALIFAX – A public inquiry heard today that many people knew about a replica patrol car owned by the gunman in Nova Scotia’s mass shooting, but they didn’t inform police of his activities.

The killer meticulously recreated a fully marked RCMP Ford Taurus – complete with a black push bar and Mountie decals – before driving it during the April 18-19, 2020, rampage that resulted in 22 murders over 13 hours.

Commission lawyer Amanda Byrd presented a commission summary today of how the killer acquired four Ford Taurus former police vehicles in 2019 from the federal government’s online auction site known as GCSurplus.

She also told the inquiry that there’s no evidence anyone who saw the fully marked car before the rampage reported it to the police.

The summary document about the killer’s police gear says that people aware of the marked car included the killer’s wife and her relatives, friends, neighbours, a lawyer, clients’ at the killer’s denturist clinic and contractors who worked on his Portapique, N.S., properties.

The summary says several relatives of the killer’s wife asked him if it was legal to have such a vehicle and were told he had checked with authorities and was planning to use it in parades, rent it to movie productions or transform it into a memorial for fallen RCMP members.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 25, 2022.

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