Blue Line

Inquiry into N.S. mass shooting says spouse of killer was revictimized by RCMP probe

March 31, 2023  By The Canadian Press

Mar. 31, 2023, Halifax, N.S. – The final report of the public inquiry into the Nova Scotia mass shooting says the gunman’s partner – a survivor of his violent domestic abuse – was revictimized by the RCMP investigation into the tragedy.

Gabriel Wortman’s rampage left 22 dead in April 2020 and began when he assaulted his partner, Lisa Banfield, who escaped and survived by hiding in the woods.

The inquiry’s report says the Mounties’ treatment of Banfield during their investigation is an example of the type of revictimization that discourages women who survive gender-based violence from seeking help.

The report notes that Banfield voluntarily told police details about Wortman from the back of an ambulance just hours after he had violently assaulted her.


It says police failed to photograph her injuries or arrange for victim services to offer her support, adding that Banfield co-operated fully with the RCMP investigation.

After Banfield took Mounties through an in-depth, on-site re-enactment of her assault, the RCMP charged her with unlawfully transferring the gunman ammunition – though the charge was later withdrawn.

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