Gunmen in Nova Scotia’s mass shootings caught police attention 10 years before the murder


According to a new document, shooters who killed 22 people in rural Nova Scotia were under police surveillance for up to 10 years before the two-day rampage in April 2020.

Gabriel Wartman was subject to police investigations at least twice, and in some cases three times, according to a report filed at a hearing on the killings on Tuesday.

The first incident occurred in June 2010 when the RCMP in Moncton, New Brunswick was contacted by the shooter’s uncle. Grin Wartman told RCMP Const. Ren Vickers said his nephew, who lived in the Halifax area, threatened to kill his parents. Later that day, Vickers informed his sergeant. Halifax Regional Police Cordell Poirier also said he had received complaints from Wartman’s father, Paul, about the threat of murder from his son.

According to Poirier’s report of the incident, he and another officer went to the murderer’s house in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and spoke with his spouse, Lisa Vanfield, at 3:25 am.

According to the document, Banfield told police that Wartman was asleep. She said she was angry with the letter she received the day before in connection with a lengthy court battle with her parents over her property. Poirier asked Banfield if she had a weapon in her house, but she said no.

Poirier later checked the Canadian Firearms Registry for possible weapons and reported: [the perpetrator] I have an unregistered weapon. The document states that Wartman has never applied for a firearm license.

Poirier reported that he eventually spoke with Gabriel Wartman. Gabrielle Wortman said on the phone that a pellet gun and two inoperable antique muskets were hanging on the wall of a cottage in Portapique, Nova Scotia.

Sergeant Halifax reported that he had contacted RCMP Const. Greg Wiley said he was a friend of Wartman and would meet him to discuss his complaint. According to the document, Wiley, who worked in a Bible Hill detachment near Portapeak, established a relationship with the murderer after responding to reports of tool theft from his cottage around 2007-2008.

However, Poirier reported closing the file on August 26, 2010 because he could not contact Wartman’s father. Meanwhile, according to the survey, Wiley told investigators that he couldn’t remember talking to Poirier in 2010. RCMP lawyers later advised that Wiley was unable to find a relevant note after searching his home after the shooting.

The second threat, to the police, was issued almost a year later by a police station in Trulo, Nova Scotia. On May 4, 2011, Nova Scotia’s Criminal Information Agency issued a police safety bulletin to police agencies about Wartman written by Cpl. Greg Densmore warned that Wartman “wants to kill a policeman.”

This breaking news is based on information from an unknown person who told police that Wartman had at least one pistol and some long rifles stored in the compartment behind the flue in Portapeak’s cottage. Was.

Poirier noted the breaking news that he considered to represent a “feasible threat.”

He reported contacting Const’s Bible Hill RCMP after talking to newsletter authors Densmore and Wortman’s father. On-duty supervisor John McMin said he was unaware of the report. Poirier said he provided McMin with his report from 2010, including information about Wartman’s personal vehicle.

This document states that McMinn did a database search, but no further details have been added.

The third case includes a report filed with police on July 6, 2013 by a former neighbor of a Portapeak shooter. Brenda Forbes told the investigative commission that she reported her belief in illegal weapons in a complaint about a domestic violence involving her shooter’s spouse, Lisa Banfield. Told.

However, a search of RCMP records after the 2020 shootings showed that the corresponding police officers were taking “minimal notes” at the time. After that, a lot of information was deleted, and RCMP investigators finally concluded that the case was “outside the parameters of the murder (gun shooting) investigation”.

An RCMP email on June 9, 2020 also said that the memory of Forbes’call to police “seems to be inconsistent,” and that there was no record of “domestic events” on the day Forbes explained. Added. “Our members who spoke to her in 2013 say they believe the phone is about Brenda, not domestic to anyone else,” the email said.

Forbes then told the question in an interview on August 19, 2021 that police had never called her about her complaint and they did not make a voice recording when she spoke to them. ..

Meanwhile, the basic document of the investigation also released details about the arsenal of shooters in his home at Portapeak.

It shows that others, including relatives on both sides of his family and neighbors and people who worked on his property, were shown his gun. Some people have also shown where they are hiding in the Portapeak cottages and adjacent warehouses.

All described weapons, including high-caliber pistols, assault rifles, shotguns, and documents reveal that Wartman was not shy to tell people that he had obtained some of the guns in the United States. I am doing it.

In an interview, Lisa Banfield said she had a “Lambo and military-style gun” and bought a pistol in the United States and brought it back to Canada, hidden behind a truck.

He was in possession of several weapons when police killed a shooter who stopped to refuel a stolen car north of Halifax.

According to the document, police recovered the Glock 23 pistol, Ruger P89 pistol, Colt Carbine 5.56 semi-automatic rifle, Ruger Mini-14 semi-automatic rifle, and Smith & Wesson model 5947 handguns that belonged to the RCMP Const. Heidi Stephenson, who was killed by a gunman a while ago.

Keith Duset

Canadian press