A Houlton man linked to two of the guns used in Canada’s deadliest mass shooting got rid of his remaining firearms, but could not bring himself to testify in front of a commission investigating the 2020 rampage.

The Canadian Mass Casualty Commission, which is charged with examining the shooting and recommending ways to keep communities safe, last week released hundreds of documents, including a report that detailed their efforts to persuade Sean Conlogue of Houlton to testify at the commission’s public hearings.

“I can’t do it, I can’t bring myself …” Conlogue told investigators “as he sat in tears and was emotionally upset,” the report said. Conlogue repeated that refrain continuously during the conversation last spring at his home, investigators said.

He cannot be subpoenaed because he does not live in Canada.

Conlogue also told investigators that he had been very troubled by the shootings and disposed of all of his firearms. He did not explain to investigators how or when he got rid of them, the report said.

Conlogue, a former car salesman in his 60s, was friends with Gabriel Wortman, the 51-year-old Nova Scotia man who killed 22 people and injured three others on April 18-19, 2020. Wortman was shot and killed by police the day after his rampage began.


Officers searching the Mazda 3 that Wortman stole from one of his victims found five firearms and dozens of rounds of ammunition. Three of those firearms – a Glock 23, a Ruger P89 and a Colt Carbine semi-automatic rifle – came from Houlton, nearly 300 miles away and across an international border from Portapique, the small beachside community where the shootings began.

Sean Cologue gave this Ruger P89 to Nova Scotia shooter Gabriel Wortman as a sign of gratitude for helping with odd jobs, according to a Canadian report about the attacks. Photo courtesy of the Mass Casualty Commission

Investigators determined that Conlogue had given Wortman the Ruger to thank him for doing odd jobs about five years before the shooting. Wortman took the Glock 23 from Conlogue’s home without his permission a few years later, according to the commission.

Investigators also found that an acquaintance of Wortman’s purchased the Colt Carbine for him at a gun show in Houlton for $1,000 cash, an illegal move known as a straw purchase, where someone buys a gun for another person who is prohibited from buying it.

Federal law says you cannot give or sell someone a gun if they’re not a U.S. resident, though Conlogue told police he didn’t know he wasn’t allowed to do so. The offense is rarely prosecuted because it is usually a low priority for the Department of Justice, which prosecutes around 14,000 firearms cases each year,

No Americans have been charged in connection with the shootings.

Conlogue did not respond Tuesday to a message from a reporter asking to discuss his connection to the investigation.


He first spoke with agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives shortly after the shootings and later with the FBI and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.


In those interviews, Conlogue described his decades-long friendship with Wortman, whom he met through a mutual friend at a pub in New Brunswick. Wortman often shipped items to Conlogue’s house and drove down from Canada to pick them up. The two men occasionally got together to skeet shoot.

When commission investigators visited Conlogue in Houlton in April, he told them that he did not have any new information. He said he was troubled by the shootings and had turned to his pastor and a few friends to help him cope, the report said.

Conlogue also said he spoke with a member of the commission’s mental health team following an earlier telephone interview with commission investigators.

Despite owning a boat in Woodstock, New Brunswick, Conlogue has not crossed the border into Canada since the shootings, the report said.

The commission is expected to release a final report this month that lays out recommendations that could help prevent and respond to similar situations in the future.

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