A woman pays her respects to victims of a mass shooting at a roadblock in Portapique, N.S. on Wednesday, April 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

A woman pays her respects to victims of a mass shooting at a roadblock in Portapique, N.S. on Wednesday, April 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

3 charged, including spouse, with supplying ammunition to Nova Scotia mass shooter

Investigators say they determined the ammunition was purchased and trafficked in Nova Scotia

Three people, including the killer’s former spouse, have been charged with supplying ammunition to the gunman who killed 22 people in the April 18-19 mass shooting in Nova Scotia.

RCMP say 64-year-old James Blair Banfield, 52-year-old Lisa Banfield and 60-year-old Brian Brewster are charged with unlawfully transferring ammunition, specifically .223 calibre Remington cartridges and .40 calibre Smith and Wesson cartridges.

Lisa Banfield is listed on court probate documents as the common law spouse of the gunman, Gabriel Wortman, who was killed by police on April 19.

Police say the offences occurred between March 17 and 18 but those charged “had no prior knowledge of the gunman’s actions.”

The rampage started the night of April 18, after police said Wortman assaulted his common-law spouse at his seasonal home in the village of Portapique.

Police have confirmed the killer, who disguised himself as a Mountie and drove a replica RCMP vehicle, was armed with two semi-automatic handguns and two semi-automatic rifles when he subsequently set fires to properties and killed 13 people in or near the village.

He killed another nine people the following day in several other communities in northern and central Nova Scotia before being fatally shot by an RCMP officer at a gas station in Enfield, N.S., about 90 kilometres south of Portapique.

Wortman’s victims included an RCMP officer, two nurses, two correctional officers, a family of three, a teacher and some of his neighbours in Portapique.

Investigators say they determined the ammunition was purchased and trafficked in Nova Scotia. The news release says the people charged, who are all Nova Scotia residents, co-operated with police in the investigation. They are scheduled to appear in Dartmouth provincial court on Jan. 27.

Nick Beaton, whose wife Kristen was killed in the shooting along with their unborn child, said he was pleased to hear the probe had carried on.

“I’m glad the investigation is still going forth. I’m glad they’re doing their job and they’re still investigating,” he said in a telephone interview on Friday.

A spokeswoman for the RCMP declined further comment on what connection Wortman had to the individuals charged.

“We respectfully refrain from further commenting on these matters outside of the (public) inquiry,” the news release says.

Banfield’s lawyer Peter Rumscheidt also declined comment.

The provincial and federal governments have called a joint public inquiry that will probe, among other things, the RCMP response to the shootings.

READ MORE: Activists will strike as calls continue for a public inquiry into Nova Scotia massacre

According to court documents, Wortman’s spouse told police after the shooting that the killer had incidents when he was violent. The documents say this included an incident in 2016 when he smashed his father’s head against a pool during a family vacation in the Caribbean.

In addition, Lisa Banfield has sued the estate of the Dartmouth denturist, saying she and Wortman were together at his property in Portapique, N.S., on the night of April 18 and she was a victim of “an assault and battery perpetrated against her by Mr. Wortman.”

She also alleged in the Aug. 12 court document she was held against her will by him and suffered “intentional infliction of mental suffering” on that night.

Michael Tutton, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Nova ScotiaRCMPShooting

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This BC Hydro map shows some of the power outages across Northern BC. Many were caused by high winds. (BC Hydro Website)
Power out across much of Northern BC

BC Hydro anticipates some may be without power overnight

Administering naloxone to a person experiencing a benzo-related overdose event won’t help. Naloxone is used to neutralize opioids. (Jenna Hauck/The Progress file photo)
Northern Health warning drug users of potential benzo contamination

The drug does not respond to naloxone, and is being included in street drugs

File photo
Ongoing petition for an accessible homeless shelter in Vanderhoof

The petition is addressed to Mayor Gerry Thiessen

The B.C. Government increased limited entry hunt (LEH) authorizations of cow/calf moose by 43 animals in 2020 in mountain caribou recovery areas near Revelstoke and Prince George. (Wikipedia Commons)
Cow moose and calf harvest numbers expected by May

No wolves culled yet; cull scheduled for 2021 winter

(Submitted photo)
BID delivering second state-of-art turnkey facility for Biewer Lumber

BID Group has recently received an order to deliver a second greenfield… Continue reading

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

Chilliwack ER doctor Marc Greidanus is featured in a video, published Jan. 18, 2021, where he demonstrates and describes effectiveness of various styles of masks. (Youtube)
VIDEO: Emergency room doctor runs through pros and cons of various masks

‘We’ve been asked to wear a mask and it’s not that hard,’ Greidanus says.

(Pixabay photo)
VIDEO: Tip to Metro Vancouver transit police helps woman 4,000 km away in Ohio

Sgt. Clint Hampton says transit police were alerted to a YouTube video of the woman in mental distress

A woman types on her laptop in Miami in a Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, photo illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Wilfredo Lee
British Columbia government lax on cybersecurity practices, auditor reports

The audit did not highlight a specific threat, but it found breaches in cybersecurity are increasing globally

Cranbrook Food Bank coordinator Deanna Kemperman, Potluck Cafe Society executive director Naved Noorani and Sunshine Coast Community Services Society executive director Catherine Leach join B.C.’s new Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne on a video call about B.C. gaming grants, Jan. 19, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. gaming grants reorganized for COVID-19 priorities

Minister highlights community kitchens, food banks

(Pixabay photo)
‘Cocaine bananas’ arrive at Kelowna grocery stores after mix up from Colombia: RCMP

Kelowna RCMP recently concluded an international drug investigation after finding cocaine in local grocers’ banana shipments in 2019

A new video from NCCIH and BC Northern Health titled ‘Healing in Pandemic Times: Indigenous Peoples, Stigma and COVID-19’ was animated by Joanne Gervais. (Photo Provided By: NCCIH Archives)
VIDEO: Stigma against Indigenous people is a ‘social sickness’

A new short animated video is aiming to educate the public on the stigmatization

A pinniped was attacked by an unseen predator off the shores of Dallas Road Monday night. (Courtesy of Steffani Cameron)
VIDEO: Seal hunting, not being hunted in video shot off Victoria waterfront

Victoria woman captures footage of pinniped activity off Dallas Road

Most Read