At a media conference Sunday evening, police described chaos with multiple 911 calls coming in late Saturday at a property in Portapique, Nova Scotia.
“When police arrived at the scene the members located several casualties inside and outside of the home,” Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Chief Superintendent Chris Leather told reporters.
Police said they are not certain how many people died or were injured.
The deceased officer was identified as Constable Heidi Stevenson, a mother of two and 23-year veteran of the RCMP.
Leather said a search for the suspect lasted overnight and led them to several crime scenes, miles apart. The suspect was eventually spotted late Sunday morning at a truck stop several miles away from the crime scene.
“The search for the suspect ended this morning when the suspect was located and I can confirm that he is deceased,” said Leather.
Nova Scotia RCMP identified the suspected gunman as Gabriel Wortman, 51. He eluded police for several hours overnight Sunday as fires were reported in many locations in the area.
The manhunt was complicated by the fact that the suspect is believed to have been wearing as least part of what looked to be an RCMP uniform, and may have been driving a vehicle made to look like a police car, Leather said.
“Of course that’s an important element in the investigation, the fact that this individual had a uniform and a police car at his disposal certainly speaks to it not being a random act,” Leather said.
A law enforcement told CNN earlier that authorities were searching half a dozen crime scenes, beginning in Portapique and stretching to Enfield, where the suspect was apprehended.
As they chased the gunman, police told residents to stay inside and lock their doors, warning that he was considered “armed and dangerous.”
Stephen McNeil, the Premier of Nova Scotia, called the shooting spree “one of the most senseless acts of violence in our province’s history.”
At a media conference on Covid-19, he told reporters: “I never imagined when I went to bed last night that I would wake up to the horrific news that an active shooter was on the loose in Nova Scotia.”