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Three charged with giving Nova Scotia gunman ammunition used in mass shooting

Last Updated Dec 4, 2020 at 9:06 am PST

FILE - RCMP cruisers in the parking lot of the Enfield Big Stop (Chris Halef/HalifaxToday.ca/News97.5)

RCMP says three people charged with providing Nova Scotia gunman with ammunition used in April mass shooting

Mounties say the three people charged weren't aware of what the shooter had planned

HALIFAX (NEWS 1130) – Three people have been charged in connection with the shooting rampage in Nova Scotia that ended with 22 people dead and three more hurt.

The RCMP says the three are charged with providing the gunman with the ammunition used in the mass shooting, which happened on April 18 and 19 of this year. However, Mounties say those charged weren’t aware of what the shooter had planned.

“Based on the investigation to date in which those charged cooperated, these individuals had no prior knowledge of the gunman’s actions on April 18 and 19. In addition, investigators have determined the ammunition was purchased and trafficked in Nova Scotia,” a statement from Nova Scotia RCMP Superintendent Darren Campbell reads.

James Blair Banfield, 64, Lisa Diane Banfield, 52, and Brian Brewster, 60, are charged with unlawfully transferring ammunition, “specifically, .223 caliber Remington cartridges and .40 caliber Smith and Wesson cartridges, contrary to Section 101 of the Criminal Code,” the RCMP says.

Lisa Diane Banfield is listed on court probate documents as the common law spouse of the killer, who was killed by police on April 19.

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During part of the 13-hour spree in April, the gunman impersonated a police officer as he drove through central Nova Scotia in a replica RCMP cruiser, targeting his victims, which included a Mountie.

“Through thousands of hours of investigative work by hundreds of RCMP employees, we determined as much as possible the gunman’s actions and his motivation and how he obtained the equipment he used,” Campbell’s statement reads.

“The gunman’s relationships with others was very much a part of this investigation and, as with every piece of information, were analyzed as we pieced together the gunman’s actions, motives and the potential for others’ involvement. As a police agency we cannot, however, dismiss evidence from the investigation that others contributed to the incidents by providing the gunman with the ammunition he used on April 18 and 19,” Campbell later writes.

In July, the federal public safety minister announced a full public inquiry into the Nova Scotia mass shooting. At the time, Minister of Public Safety Bill Blair said Canadians deserve to understand how something so tragic could happen.

-With files from The Canadian Press