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

The data from the latest BCCDC reporting period. Image courtesy of B.C. Centre for Disease Control
Cluster mostly confined to Fernie: Sparwood Mayor

David Wilks said only a handful of cases were elsewhere in the Elk Valley

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Interior Health reports 2 more deaths, 83 new COVID-19 cases

Health authority also identifies new virus cluster in Fernie

Downtown Fernie is pictured after a snowfall.
South Columbia Search and Rescue called in the Nelson Search and Rescue and Kootenay Valley Helicopters to provide a long line rescue. Photo: BCSAR submitted.
Long-line rescue needed for injured hiker near Trail

Members of South Columbia and Nelson SAR and Kootenay Valley Helicopters did a long-line evacuation

A sign indicating a COVID-19 testing site is displayed inside a parking garage in West Nyack, N.Y., Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. The site was only open to students and staff of Rockland County schools in an effort to test enough people to keep the schools open for in-person learning. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
4 more deaths, 54 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

This brings the total to 66 deaths in the region

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Vancouver mayor, Health Canada to formally discuss drug decriminalization

Kennedy Stewart says he’s encouraged by the federal health minister’s commitment to work with the city

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Kamloops hospital grows to 66 cases

A majority of cases remain among staff at Royal Inland Hospital

Most Read