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The emergency management coordinator runs back inside after gunfire outside the Onslow fire hall. (Source: Mass Casualty Commission)

No charges after gunshots outside Onslow fire hall during manhunt in 2020

By Steve MacArthur Apr 13, 2024 | 11:09 AM

No charges will be laid against two police officers who mistakenly shot up a firehall in rural Nova Scotia nearly four years ago.

RCMP were looking for Gabriel Wortman after they learned he had murdered multiple people in Portapique a few hours earlier.

The officers started shooting after thinking they spotted him at the Onslow fire station on April 19, 2020.

An independent investigation determined the decision to begin shooting did not amount to negligence given the situation.

“The evidence establishes that the officers had reasonable grounds to believe the person they saw, who was disobeying their orders, was the mass murderer who had, in the preceding hour, killed three more persons,” – Ontario’s Special Investigation Unit

The fire hall was being used as a place for people impacted by the shootings.

A RCMP cruiser was parked outside the hall, but police also knew Wortman was driving a replica car which added to the confusion.

No one was hit by the gunfire.

Wortman was eventually shot and killed at a gas station in Enfield later in the day.