Nova Scotia Mass Shooting Reportedly Began with Domestic Violence

Illustration for article titled Nova Scotia Mass Shooting Reportedly Began with Domestic Violence
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As is unfortunately often the case, the mass shooting that took place on April 18 in Nova Scotia began with an incident of domestic violence.

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Authorities say that before the shooting that killed 22 people in the rural coastal community of Portapique, 51-year-old Gabriel Wortman argued before leaving a party. At home, Wortman assaulted his girlfriend and tied her up before returning to the party and killing several in attendance. Police didn’t find Wortman’s girlfriend until 7 a.m. the following morning, after Wortman—armed with a rifle, a handgun, and a shotgun—had left those at the party for dead and began targeting random victims. His girlfriend warned authorities that Wortman was driving an SUV modified to resemble a police cruiser and was probably dressed as an officer. The shootings went on for nearly 12 hours before a police standoff in which Wortman was killed after shooting Royal Canadian Mounted Police Constable Heidi Stevenson in the chest, before dragging her out of her police car and shooting her a second time.

Wortman’s violence at home escalating to violence against strangers is part of a horrific pattern that is all-too-common in mass shooting. According to a report by Everytown, in 54 percent of mass shootings, the perpetrator had a history of domestic violence. And in Canada, intimate partner violence accounts for one-third of all violent crimes reported to police.

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A vigil for the victims, including Stevenson, along with a family of three, and an elementary school teacher, among others, will be held on Friday, though mourners must participate remotely due to covid-19 lockdowns.

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DISCUSSION

Surprised this article didn’t mention the École Polytechnique massacre in Montreal, Canada’s second deadliest mass shooting, which was explicitly anti-feminist. It always bothered me that Michael Moore pretended that that never happened when he examined Canada favourably in Bowling for Columbine.