“Our hearts are broken today as we attempt to accept the loss of my sister, Lisa McCully, who was one of the victims of the mass shooting in Portapique last night,” said Jenny Kierstead, whose sister, a schoolteacher, was one of the victims.
Another victim was Heidi Stevenson, an officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police with 23 years experience on the force and mother of two. She died after she responded to the shooting.
“Heidi answered the call of duty and lost her life while protecting those she served,” the police said in a statement. Another officer was injured.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called for unity in his public address on Sunday. “As a country, in moments like these, we come together to support one another,” he said. “Together we will mourn with the families of the victims, and help them get through this difficult time.”
Those who knew Mr. Wortman, 51, described him as having been “a little different,” but they were nonetheless shocked to hear that he had been identified by the authorities as the perpetrator of such a bloody attack.
“Gabriel always had a sadness about him, but I was so shocked to hear that he’d hurt other people,” Candy Palmater, a university friend, told local news outlets on Sunday. “I don’t know what his later adult life was like, but I can tell you that at university, people weren’t nice to him.”
She said she couldn’t reconcile what he had done with the man she knew.
Scott Balser, a former high school friend, said that Mr. Wortman “was a very nice guy who liked to help others,” according to The Chronicle Herald, a newspaper in Nova Scotia.