Home WorldLatin America Nova Scotia gunman was paranoid survivalist – but not informer, say police | World news

Nova Scotia gunman was paranoid survivalist – but not informer, say police | World news

by telegramnews
Nova Scotia gunman was paranoid survivalist – but not informer, say police | World news

Police in Canada believe the gunman behind the country’s worst-ever mass shooting was a “paranoid survivalist” who frantically stockpiled supplies as fears grew over the looming coronavirus pandemic.

Gabriel Wortman killed 22 people across the province of Nova Scotia in the 13-hour shooting spree that started on 18 April. Wortman, who was dressed in a police uniform, was eventually shot dead by officers after a standoff outside a gas station.

“We do know that the gunman was very paranoid. We also know some would describe him as a survivalist,” Supt Darren Campbell of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police told CBC News on Monday. “He’d voiced concerns about the pandemic, and that he wanted to be prepared in the event of things not working in the way they normally would.”

Campbell said that in the weeks ahead of the shooting, Wortman liquidated his bank accounts, apparently fearful that conventional banking systems would be unreliable. After searching the charred remains of Wortman’s ocean-front property, which he burned the night of 18 April, police found hundreds of thousands of dollars in a fire-resistant box.

Since the attack, the RCMP have faced fierce criticism for their handling of the initial incident, as well as allegations that they failed to adequately follow up on assault claims against Wortman and warnings from neighbours that he was collecting illegal weapons.

Media outlets in Canada have also grown increasingly unhappy with the “heavy censorship of information” surrounding the case, fighting numerous legal battles for access to key documents related to the investigation.

In recent weeks, police have once again been on the defensive, following reporting that Wortman may have been a paid RCMP informant.

Earlier this month, Maclean’s magazine ran a story suggesting Wortman’s case had the “hallmarks of an undercover operation”.

Nineteen days before his attack, the denturist withdrew C$475,000 (US$350,000) from a Brink’s banking facility. Macleans reported: “According to a source close to the police investigation the money came from CIBC Intria, a subsidiary of the chartered bank that handles currency transactions.” The move struck many experts as highly unusual.

“Sources in both banking and the RCMP say the transaction is consistent with how the RCMP funnels money to its confidential informants and agents, and is not an option available to private banking customers,” the magazine reported.

Police have denied there are any links between the RCMP and the shooter.

“I can … confirm that the RCMP was not the source of those funds as incorrectly assumed in recent media articles,” Campbell told reporters last week. “The gunman had no special relationship with the RCMP whatsoever.”

Police have also rejected reporting that Wortman had ties to criminal organizations, despite reports that the man who printed the decals for Wortman’s fake police vehicle had links to a Mexican drug cartel.

“Recent media articles painting him as some underworld, organized crime figure – nothing has been uncovered whatsoever that would suggest that,” Campbell told CBC.

The RCMP believe Wortman acted alone in the attack, but continue to investigate the source of the weapons, some of which came from United States.

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