Maine man who supplied some firearms to N.S. mass shooter says he disposed of remaining guns

U.S. Border Patrol officers in jet boats watch the border at Orient, Maine. (David Common/CBC - image credit)
U.S. Border Patrol officers in jet boats watch the border at Orient, Maine. (David Common/CBC - image credit)

A man who supplied some of the weapons used in the deadly rampage of April 2020 says he could not bring himself to testify at the inquiry into the murders - and recently told investigators he got rid of his remaining guns.

Sean Conlogue, a retired car salesman in Maine, was a close friend of Gabriel Wortman. The two men were part of a video chat on the evening of April 18, 2020, just before Wortman started killing people and setting fire to buildings in Portapique, N.S.

Both the RCMP and the Mass Casualty Commission investigating the murders have continued to pursue leads from Maine where some of Wortman's guns were bought and later smuggled across the border.

As recently as this summer, RCMP officers travelled to the U.S. to recover evidence that was being held by the FBI.

That included the empty cases for two Glock handguns. A Glock was one of five guns found with Wortman when RCMP shot and killed him in Enfield on April 19, 2020.

In August, investigators with the Mass Casualty Commission produced a report on their efforts to persuade Conlogue to testify at the public hearings. That report was among a huge stash of documents the commission released last week.

The authors talk about a phone conversation they had with Conlogue in which he told them he had nothing new to share.

He said he was troubled by the events from April 2020. He told the commission he'd received mental health support but he broke down in tears and said he couldn't bring himself to testify.

Mass Casualty Commission
Mass Casualty Commission

When he said he'd disposed of his own firearms, Conlogue did not say how or when. Unlike other potential witnesses, Conlogue could not be compelled to testify before the commission because he is an American citizen.

Investigators had zeroed in on Conlogue early in their investigation.

Agents with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives spoke to him a couple of times in May 2020. Conlogue told them he had bought Wortman a handgun as a gift for work Wortman had done around his Maine home.

The ATF agent asked Conlogue how Wortman might have gotten the gun back to Canada.

"Oh, I never thought anything about that, I guess," Conlogue told the agent. "I knew that he was a citizen. I guess I don't know."

Conlogue also claimed to investigators that Wortman stole two handguns from him and he only discovered it when he found the empty boxes.

Haunted by the killings

In May 2020, Conlogue made it clear he was haunted by the murders.

"I went back through, you know, years trying to recall things that happened and so on and so forth," he said in a phone interview with an ATF. "I mean, this has got me mixed up and upset worse than I don't know what but it is what it is and I'll have to deal with it."

The commission also made efforts to track down Angel Patterson, who was a friend of Wortman, Wortman's partner Lisa Banfield, and Conlogue.

Patterson was part of the video call that degenerated into an argument between Banfield and Wortman just before the rampage. The commission was unable to talk to Patterson.


A senior RCMP officer, Supt. Darren Campbell, told the commission he was dissatisfied with the force's investigation of Wortman's firearms.

"In terms of those that assisted him, I would say for me, personally, I'm not satisfied that we've been able to conclude what I believe the expectations of survivors and victim families would expect and personally, me as a police officer and investigator, what I would wish to accomplish, in terms of the provision of firearms. That is the outstanding element for me," Campbell said.

A CBC News investigation earlier this year found Americans who helped Wortman obtain firearms may have violated U.S. law, but no one has been charged.