AGENCIES, Toronto: As the death toll in the shocking shooting rampage climbed, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his administration is moving ahead with stricter gun laws.
Police are still investigating 16 crime scenes after last weekend’s shootings by a lone gunman.
“We believe there to be 22 victims, including a 17-year-old,” the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said in a statement. The victims include a police constable, a corrections officer, a nurse and a teacher. The shooter who was identified as Gabriel Wortman, was shot dead by police in an encounter near a petrol station.
“In regards to gun control, we took very serious commitments in the election campaign and have moved forward — and are moving forward on them — to ensure that we’re strengthening gun control in this country,” Trudeau told reporters.
The crime scenes being investigated include five where devastating fires were allegedly set on by the suspected gunman, police said. RCMP have recovered human remains from some of the fire sites.
Authorities have not released details as to what kind of weapons were used by the gunman in the random killings.
Trudeau said while campaigning last year that he wanted to ban assault-style weapons across Canada and set up a buyback program for all military-grade weapons that had been legally purchased. Legislation was about to be introduced when Parliament was suspended over the coronavirus pandemic, Trudeau said.
Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil called the shootings one of the most senseless acts of violence in the province’s history.
“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,” he said.