Police responding to one of Canada’s worst mass shootings nearly shot the wrong man, officers have said during a public inquiry examining the attack and authorities’ chaotic response.
Testifying on Monday at a public inquiry into the 2020 attack in the town of Portapique, Nova Scotia, which left 22 dead, three Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers said the scene resembled a “war zone” and that they were unprepared for the number of casualties.
At one stage, amid the sound of gunfire and with thick smoke pouring from burning houses, they pursued a man fleeing into the forest.
But the man was not the perpetrator, Gabriel Wortman. Instead, the officers were mistakenly pursing Clinton Ellison, who had just discovered the body of his brother, Corrie Ellison, lying dead on the road. The pair had been in Portapique visiting their father and had ventured outside after hearing a gunshot.
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