At least 17 people have been killed in a shooting in eastern Canada that has already become the bloodiest shooting in the country’s history. Among the dead is a police officer, a woman identified as Heidi Stevenson, and also among the dead is the suspect in the massacre identified as Gabriel Wortman, a 51-year-old dental technician.

The incident began Saturday night in the town of Portapique, about 1,250 kilometres northeast of Toronto.

Police received reports of shots fired at a local home. Officers who responded to the call found a “chaotic scene” with “numerous victims” but no gunman. Throughout Saturday night and Sunday morning, police pursued the alleged shooter while witnesses reported fires in facilities and vehicles.

The authorities asked the inhabitants of the area to remain locked in their homes because of the presence of a “shooter”, although they did not report that he had caused multiple deaths.

The dead officer leaves family behind: “Two children have lost their mother and her husband has lost his partner”. The police did not identify the rest of the fatalities or indicate the possible motives for the killing or the relationship of the deceased to the alleged perpetrator.

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