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

Wayne Allen's graduation photo from Chemainus Secondary School. (Photo submitted)
Brother charged with murder in Chemainus teenager’s Ontario death

Jesse James Allen stands accused in the death of Wayne Allen, a 2020 Chemainus Secondary grad

The frequent disruptions to water service in Chemainus are expected to be a lot less after North Cowichan replaces the Smiley Road water main. (File photo)
Smiley Road water main in Chemainus to be replaced

$890,000 project expected to be completed this spring

Cowichan Tribes open up vaccinations for members who are 40 and older. (File photo)
Cowichan Tribes opens up vaccinations for members 18 and older

Vaccination sessions to be held over weekend

Kim McGregor died in the Feb. 14 hit-and-run accident in Chemainus. (Photo submitted)
Victim identified in Valentine’s Day Chemainus hit-and-run

Kim McGregor grew up in Chemainus and had recently returned to be close to his parents

The Cowichan Valley Regional District will use fire hydrants to flush water systems in Youbou, Honeymoon Bay, Mesachie Lake and Bald Mountain in March. (Robert Barron/Gazette)
Water system flushing in Cowichan Lake communities in March may cause discolouration warns CVRD

Water pipes in Youbou, Honeymoon Bay, Mescahie Lake, and Bald Mountain targeted

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

A crossover utility vehicle smashed through the front of a business on Bowen Road on Friday evening. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Vehicle smashes all the way inside business in Nanaimo

No serious injuries reported after incident at Venue Financial Centres on Friday

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

RCMP say a woman turned herself in to police after hitting a pedestrian and fleeing the scene of the accident in downtown Nanaimo on Friday morning. (File photo)
Driver flees, then turns herself in after hitting pedestrian in downtown Nanaimo

RCMP say woman was struck in marked crosswalk after driver ran red light

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

Most Read