The Nova Scotia man who killed 22 people in April had stockpiled cash, food, and fuel due to paranoia about the COVID-19 pandemic, but gave no indication to those closest to him that he was planning an attack.
Gabriel Wortman preemptively liquidated his savings and investments for fear that the collapse of the economy due to the pandemic would put him in a tough situation, RCMP Supt. Darren Campbell said, according to CBC News.
"We do know that the gunman was very paranoid. We also know some would describe him as a survivalist," Campbell continued.
"He'd voiced concerns about the pandemic, and that he wanted to be prepared in the event of things not working in the way they normally would."
Though there are still many questions about what led to Wortman's rampage, Maclean's magazine got hold of a video of Wortman withdrawing a total of $475,000 from a Brink's depot in Dartmouth at the end of March.
Campbell went on to say that the RCMP recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars in a fire-proof container on one of Wortman's properties in Protapique. He said that his financial records were being audited and was not able to comment on the exact amount of cash discovered.
Campbell said that they are operating under the assumption that Wortman did not feel it was safe to leave his savings in the bank.
"He felt that his financial interests would be better served by him having control over his financial assets so that's why he converted them," Campbell said.
Probate court documents list Wortman's six properties as having a collective value of $712,000, while his personal investments add up to about $500,000.
"From what people tell us, he was hardworking and he had many holdings. He was able to amass what wealth he had based on opportunities he took. He was also a recipient of some inheritances. All of those things contributed to his wealth," Campbell said.
Wortman left all his assets to his common-law partner in 2011, but she has since renounced the role as executor of his estate. A number of family members of those killed by Wortman have launched a class action against the estate.
Maclean's spoke to sources who said that the transaction at Brink's was part of a payout to an agent or informant who gave information to police. But the RCMP have said repeatedly that they have no connection with the gunman. Campbell called the allegations "very sensational and factually incorrect."
Allegations of an agent or informant connected to Wortman has not been substantiated.