Nova Scotia’s Serious Incident Response Team is investigating after two RCMP members fired an unknown number of bullets at someone outside the Onslow Belmont Fire Brigade Hall on the morning of April 19, 2020.
CBC reports the two unidentified RCMP constables thought they were shooting at the Nova Scotia killer who, by that time, was known to be wearing an RCMP uniform and driving a replica RCMP cruiser.
Their hail of gunfire left the wall of the fire hall riddled with bullet holes.
Pat Curran, Interim Director of SIRT, says an investigation into the gunfire is underway, but offers no additional details.
At 10:21am, RCMP Nova Scotia posted the following message on its Twitter feed:
Gabriel Wortman is currently in the #CentralOnslow #Debert area in a vehicle that may resemble what appears to be an RCMP vehicle & may be wearing what appears to be an RCMP uniform. Please stay inside and avoid the area. #RCMPNS
— RCMP, Nova Scotia (@RCMPNS) April 19, 2020
Approximately 9 minutes later, two RCMP constables arrived at the Onslow Belmont Fire Brigade Hall, located roughly 25 kms east of Portapique, and opened fire on someone wearing a safety vest.
RCMP bullets flew for about ten seconds, then the two police officers hid behind a garbage bin, according to one witness.
Then the two RCMP members jumped back into their police cruiser and sped away.
They didn’t bother to check and see if they injured or killed anyone before fleeing the scene.
That’s very disturbing behaviour, even in the midst of a manhunt for a mass murderer, considering SIRT’s Pat Curran says the murder suspect was believed to be somewhere else at the time these two RCMP members started shooting at someone.
Fortunately, the unidentified innocent person was not injured. I can only imagine how terrified they were when the two uniformed cops emptied the magazines of their RCMP-issue pistols into the wall of the volunteer fire hall.
Onslow Belmont Fire Brigade Statement
The hall was used to provide a place where residents could come take a break, register and get hotel and Red Cross information.
The hall was used to provide a place where residents could come take a break, register and get hotel and Red Cross information,” the brigade says in a Facebook posting, which has since been removed.
We can confirm that around 10:30 a.m. there was gunfire at our hall and the gunfire caused considerable damage to our property, including taking one of our trucks out of service.
Our video surveillance does not capture the shooters but does show two people who appear to be RCMP officers enter our property, one to the front and one to the rear.
One of these people enters our hall at the front but no one who is sheltered inside the hall spoke with the people/person resembling the RCMP officer so we (cannot) confirm why they were there.
No one identified themselves as an RCMP officer. They left our property shortly after the gunfire. We have since been contacted by SIRT (the Serious Incident Response Team) and are co-operating with their ongoing investigation.
Fortunately no one was physically injured.