Common-law spouse among 3 charged with giving N.S. shooter ammunition

The common-law spouse of the man responsible for killing 22 people in April’s mass shooting in Nova Scotia has been charged with providing the gunman with ammunition he used during the rampage.

However, police say they don’t believe the spouse or the two others also charged had any prior knowledge of the gunman’s actions.

Lisa Diane Banfield, 52, of Dartmouth is alleged to have transferred .223 calibre Remington cartridges and .40 calibre Smith & Wesson cartridges between March 17 and April 18, 2020.

James Blair Banfield, 64, of Sackville, and Brian Brewster, 60, of Sackville, are also facing the same charge under Section 101 of the Criminal Code.

RCMP would not comment on the relationship between Lisa Banfield and the two men. CBC News has learned they are the brother and brother-in-law of Lisa Banfield.

In a news release Friday, the force said the three had “no prior knowledge of the gunman’s actions on April 18 and 19.”

That weekend, Gabriel Wortman killed 22 neighbours, acquaintances and strangers in several communities in rural Nova Scotia.

He torched his own cottage and garage, and three other homes over a 13-hour period before being shot dead by police at a gas station in Enfield, N.S. after a lengthy search.

A gunman killed 22 people on April 18 and 19. The rampage unfolded over about 13 hours, before police shot and killed the gunman.(CBC)

RCMP say the ammunition was purchased in Nova Scotia. All three are scheduled to be arraigned in Dartmouth provincial court on Jan. 27.

On Friday, Lisa Banfield’s lawyer declined to comment on the charge.

The day the rampage started, Wortman and Banfield were celebrating their anniversary, according to search warrant documents.

The couple worked together and lived above Wortman’s denture clinic on Portland Street in Dartmouth and spent time at the cottage they shared in Portapique.

Banfield has never spoken publicly about what happened in April.

RCMP have said the violence started when the gunman attacked and restrained her. She escaped and later told investigators she initially hid in a truck before spending hours in a wooded area in Portapique before knocking on a neighbour’s door around 6 a.m., according to a summary of interviews she gave RCMP.

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