Mountie who got to know killer before N.S. mass shooting says they weren't friends

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HALIFAX — A Mountie who got to know a man who later murdered 22 people in Nova Scotia told a public inquiry today he did not consider Gabriel Wortman a friend even though he visited the killer's rural home 15 or 16 times between 2007 and 2011.

Testifying under oath via a video link, Const. Greg Wiley told the commission of inquiry that people following the case may have the wrong idea about the nature of his relationship with the killer, based on the number of times they met.

Wiley says Wortman was a "community contact," which meant the officer considered him a co-operative "pro-police" individual who could be helpful in an unofficial capacity.

The RCMP officer says Wortman was not an official source, adding that he got to know him after he called police to report a property crime in 2007 or 2008 — long before the killing rampage in April 2020.

Wiley says that during his visits to Wortman's home in Portapique, N.S., he was always on duty and in uniform, and he says their interactions typically lasted less than 45 minutes, with most meetings wrapping up after 10 or 15 minutes.

The inquiry has heard that in June 2010, Wiley was told to investigate allegations that Wortman had threatened to kill his parents, but Wiley's efforts led nowhere.

On the night of April 18, 2020, Wortman assaulted his common-law wife and fatally shot 13 people in Portapique while disguised as a Mountie and driving a car that looked exactly like an RCMP cruiser.

The next day, he killed another nine people — including a Mountie and a pregnant woman — before two RCMP officers shot him to death at a gas station in Enfield, N.S.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 6, 2022.

The Canadian Press