A man who supplied some of the weapons used in a deadly April 2020 attack says he couldn’t bring himself to testify at an inquiry into the killings — and recently told investigators he got rid of the rest of his guns.
Sean Conlogue, a retired car salesman from Maine, was a close friend of Gabriel Wortman. The two were part of a video chat on the evening of April 18, 2020, in Portapic, Portapic, just before Wortman began killing people and setting fire to buildings.
The RCMP and Mass Casualty Commission, which is investigating the murders, are continuing to follow evidence that Wortman bought some of the guns in Maine and then smuggled them across the border.
This summer, RCMP officers traveled to the US to recover evidence held by the FBI.
It included the empty cases of two Glock handguns. The Glock was one of five guns recovered from Wortman when he was shot and killed by RCMP in Enfield on April 19, 2020.
In August, investigators with the Mass Casualty Commission filed a report detailing their efforts to get Conlog to testify at a public hearing. That report is among a trove of documents released by the commission last week.
The authors talk about a phone conversation they had with Conlog in which they said they had nothing new to share.
He said he was disturbed by the events since April 2020. He told the commission he had received mental health support, but he broke down in tears and said he could not be brought to testify.
While he said he would remove his own guns, Conlogue did not say how or when. Unlike other potential witnesses, Conlogue cannot be compelled to testify before the commission because he is an American citizen.
Investigators zeroed in on the conlog early in their investigation.
Agents with the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives spoke to him twice in May 2020. Conlogue said he bought Wortman a handgun as a gift for work Wortman did around his Maine home.
The ATF agent asked Conlog how Wortman got the gun back into Canada.
“Oh, I didn’t think anything of it, I guess,” Conlogue told the agent. “I knew he was a citizen, I didn’t.”
Conlogue claimed to investigators that Wortman stole two handguns from him and only discovered them when they found the empty boxes.
Haunted by murders
In May 2020, Conlogue stated that the murders haunted him.
“I’ve gone back and, you know, tried for years to remember things that happened and stuff,” he said in a phone interview with ATF. “I mean, it’s worse than I don’t know what confused and upset me, but I’ll have to deal with it for what it is.”
The commission also made efforts to locate Angel Patterson, who was a friend of Wortman, Wortman’s partner, Lisa Banfield, and Conlogue.
Patterson was part of the video call that led to an argument between Banfield and Wortman. The commission was unable to speak with Patterson.
A senior RCMP officer, Saptam. Darren Campbell told the commission he was unhappy with the force’s investigation into Wortman’s firearms.
“In terms of those who helped him, I’m not satisfied that we’ve been able to conclude what the expectations of the survivors and the victim’s families, personally, and myself as a police officer, and the investigator, what I want to do in terms of providing firearms. That’s the best factor for me,” Campbell said.
A CBC News investigation At the beginning of this year Americans who helped Wortman obtain the guns were found to have violated US law, but no one was charged.