Nova Scotia

N.S. mass shooter had hiding spaces for guns, but drug smuggling not verified, say RCMP

RCMP investigators confirmed Thursday that the gunman who went on a rampage in Nova Scotia in April had hidden compartments in buildings and had converted personal assets into "a significant amount" of cash prior to his attacks.

Evidence doesn't back up allegations, RCMP says

The burnt-out remains of Gabriel Wortman's home on Portapique Beach Road in Portapique, N.S., on May 13, 2020. (Steve Lawrence/CBC)

RCMP investigators confirmed Thursday that the gunman who went on a rampage in Nova Scotia in April had hidden compartments in buildings and had converted personal assets into "a significant amount" of cash prior to his attacks.

However, a statement issued Thursday said one witness statement in court documents claiming Gabriel Wortman had committed prior murders and burned bodies was not corroborated by follow-up interviews and property searches.

Investigators say searches of the killer's burned residence in Portapique, N.S., haven't turned up evidence to back the allegation of any murders before the April 18-19 killings of 22 people in central and northern Nova Scotia.

The Mounties were responding to the release earlier this week of previously blacked-out portions of witness allegations submitted by police to obtain search warrants.

Allegations included statements by a witness that the 51-year-old denturist smuggled drugs, but the RCMP say that to date the investigation hasn't revealed evidence the gunman was involved in importing or selling illegal drugs, or that he was part of a criminal organization.

"Only this one witness has come forward with information that the gunman was actively and recently involved in the importation and trafficking of illegal drugs," the RCMP statement says.

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