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Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers surround a suspect at a gas station in Enfield, Nova Scotia on April 19, 2020.Tim Krochak/The Associated Press

The killer behind the Nova Scotia mass shooting that left 22 people dead in April was armed with five guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition and had more victims in mind when he was finally stopped, according to newly released court documents.

That revelation, included in the latest batch of RCMP warrant applications released as part of a continuing legal challenge, comes from police evidence and statements his common-law wife, Lisa Banfield, gave to investigators the morning after the rampage began on April 18 in the rural hamlet of Portapique, N.S.

Ms. Banfield, who was beaten by the gunman, handcuffed and put in the back of his fake police cruiser, managed to escape and hid in the woods before she went to a neighbour’s home for help.

When police found her on April 19, she told them Gabriel Wortman was headed to Halifax, intending to harm someone whose identity was not revealed in the documents. With the heavily armed gunman still on the loose, officers were sent to the person’s home in case the killer appeared.

“Gabriel Wortman told Lisa Banfield he was going to the city to get [redacted],” the document says. “Members of the Halifax Regional Police attended the residence of [redacted] and located her and [redacted] and provided them security.”

Mr. Wortman, who was shot and killed by police at a gas station in Enfield, N.S., never made it to Halifax. He killed 13 people in Portapique, before escaping a police perimeter in his look-alike RCMP vehicle, and killing nine more people across rural Nova Scotia – some he knew, and others apparently at random.

As police traced his route, they found the bodies of three women inside vehicles, and the body of fourth victim, Joseph Webber, in the back seat of the gunman’s fake cruiser, which he abandoned after he killed RCMP Constable Heidi Stevenson near Shubenacadie.

The new documents also provide more information about the weapons used in the attack. They describe five guns and a significant amount of ammunition found inside the grey Mazda 3 that Mr. Wortman had stolen from another victim, Gina Goulet. He was fuelling the car at an Irving Big Stop outside of Halifax when an RCMP officer recognized him and opened fire.

Inside the Mazda, police found two semi-automatic rifles equipped with over-capacity magazines, two pistols fitted with after-market laser sights, multiple ammunition boxes, an ammunition can and the Smith & Wesson sidearm Mr. Wortman had taken from Const. Stevenson. Three of the guns were traced to gun shops or gun owners in Maine and California and were illegally smuggled into Canada.

That American guns were used in the worst mass shooting in Canadian history is not altogether surprising. About three-quarters of crime-related guns seized by police in Ontario are trafficked into Canada from the U.S.

The gunman’s Ruger Mini-14, which was one of nine rifle models singled out under the assault rifle prohibitions the federal Liberal government ushered in on May 1, was traced to a gun shop in Winnipeg. That style of rifle, which was also used in the Ecole Polytechnique shootings, has played a role in the country’s two deadliest mass shootings.

Mr. Wortman did not have a firearms licence, according to the court documents.

Police allege some of the ammunition used in the mass shooting was provided to him by Ms. Banfield, her brother and brother-in-law, in the month leading up to the attack. Although Nova Scotia RCMP have said all three were unaware of the gunman’s apparent plans, they were charged last Friday with unlawfully supplying him ammunition.

The documents say Mr. Wortman was growing increasingly paranoid during the COVID-19 pandemic. On the night of April 18, he began arguing with Ms. Banfield before he assaulted her and set fire to their home. The couple were celebrating their 19th anniversary.

The RCMP have said that significant assault “could very well have been the catalyst that started the chain of events,” according to RCMP Superintendent Darren Campbell. Previous domestic abuse complaints to police, some dating back to 2013, suggest it was not the first time Mr. Wortman hurt his partner.

In a lawsuit filed with the Nova Scotia Supreme Court against the gunman’s estate, valued at more than $1.2-million, Ms. Banfield says she was the victim of assault and battery, and suffered physical, emotional and psychological injuries and trauma at the hands of Mr. Wortman.

A public inquiry into the mass shooting, which will examine the police response and other issues, began in October. That inquiry was announced after the provincial and federal governments backed down from an earlier plan to hold a closed-door review, without the power to compel testimony.

With a report from Patrick White

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