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

As of Friday, Alberta has under 10,000 active COVID-19 cases. (Image courtesy CDC)
Three new COVID-19 deaths in Central zone, Alberta under 10,000 active cases

The Central zone sits at 849 active cases, with 52 people in hospital and 10 in the ICU.

Black Press File Photo
Maskwacis RCMP lay charges for attempted murder, kidnapping, and flight from police

Female victim remains in hospital in serious condition.

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced 16 additional deaths Thursday. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
No easing of Alberta’s COVID-19 measures Thursday, 678 new COVID-19 cases

The province also hit 1,500 COVID-19 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic

File photo
Leduc RCMP lay charges in theft of catalytic converters

Two males arresed and charged with theft of several catalytic converters.

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, updates media on the COVID-19 situation in Edmonton, Friday, March 20, 2020. Hinshaw says residents in long-term care and supportive living facilities will remain the priority as the province grapples with a looming slowdown in COVID-19 vaccine supply. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta long-term care residents remain priority in looming slowdown of COVID vaccine

There are 119 patients in intensive care and 1,463 people have died

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

In this Dec. 18, 2020 photo, pipes to be used for the Keystone XL pipeline are stored in a field near Dorchester, Neb.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chris Machian /Omaha World-Herald via AP
‘Gut punch’: Alberta Premier Jason Kenney blasts Biden on revoked Keystone XL permit

Kenney said he was upset the U.S. wouldn’t consult with Canada first before acting

Joe Biden, then the U.S. vice-president, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau take their seats at the start of the First Ministers and National Indigenous Leaders meeting in Ottawa, Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau, Biden to talk today as death of Keystone XL reverberates in Canada

President Joe Biden opposed the Keystone XL expansion as vice-president under Barack Obama

Prince Edward Island’s provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Friday July 3, 2020. A lozenge plant in Prince Edward Island has laid off 30 workers, citing an “almost non-existent” cold and cough season amid COVID-19 restrictions. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘Almost non-existent’ cold and cough season: P.E.I. lozenge plant lays off 30 workers

The apparent drop in winter colds across the country seems to have weakened demand for medicine and natural remedies

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette takes the royal salute from the Guard of Honour as she makes her way deliver the the throne speech, Wednesday, September 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigns, apologizes for ‘tensions’ at Rideau Hall

Payette, who is the Queen’s representative in Canada, has been the governor general since 2017

Grounded WestJet Boeing 737 Max aircraft are shown at the airline’s facilities in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, May 7, 2019. WestJet will operate the first commercial Boeing 737 Max flight in Canada today since the aircraft was grounded in 2019 following two deadly crashes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Passengers unfazed as WestJet returns Boeing 737 Max to service on Calgary flight

After a lengthy review process, Transport Canada cleared the plane to return to Canadian airspace

(Photo submitted)
Community Futures brings back Social Media Challenge for 2021

This time the challenge is for non-profits and community groups

Most Read