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Man in custody charged with attempted murder in St. Thomas, Ont. shooting

A 24-year-old woman is clinging to life and a man is charged with attempted murder after a shooting in downtown St. Thomas, Ont. Tuesday.

The St. Thomas Police Service (STPS) continue their investigation at a downtown apartment building where the broad-daylight shooting took place.

First responders attended a residence on the upper floors of 341 Talbot St. after receiving multiple 9-1-1 calls about a disturbance.

“Upon arrival, we found a 24-year-old female victim who had been shot, our officers worked to preserve her life, and she was transported to hospital at that time,” said Marc Roskamp, chief of STPS.

The suspect fled the scene on foot and was tracked by officers a few blocks north of Talbot Street.

“One officer was running up that pathway up towards Hiawatha [Street] and the other officer, he had his gun out,” said Steve Labonte, who witnessed part of the chase from his house which looks over Athletic Park.

“He came right up the hill. You don't see an officer in St. Thomas with a gun very often. You see the cars around town, but nothing like this. It made me nervous of course,” said Labonte.

Steve Labonte shows where he witnessed officers chase a suspect in St. Thomas, Ont. on May 16, 2023 (Brent Lale/CTV News London)

Residents of an apartment complex on Hiawatha Street said the suspect tried to enter their building, but when it was locked, he fled down the street where he was apprehended just a few metres away.

Police said he was taken into custody with what court documents said was a 9 mm firearm.

A man named Doug saw the arrest on his neighbour’s front lawn.

“My wife was sitting up there and then I saw the police take what must have been his gun,” said Doug, who wished not to use his last name.

“They took the bullets out of the gun right there on the road. So I mean, there's my wife sitting there, who knows what that guy could have done with a gun,” said Doug.

Roskamp praised his team for the arrest, which resulted in no injuries.

"Our officers performed remarkably well and de-escalated with a quick and timely arrest of the suspect,” said Roskamp. “It's a very dangerous situation and they performed very well.”

Inside the building at 341 Talbot Street where police are investigating a shooting in St. Thomas. May 17, 2023. (Brent Lale/CTV News London)

As a result, a 39-year-old James Alexander Brown has been charged with:

  • Attempt to commit murder
  • Possession of a firearm contrary to prohibition order
  • Possession of a loaded firearm
  • Carrying a concealed weapon

Police said Brown has a history of property and violent crime in southwestern Ontario with 61 convictions since 2001.

“This is a prolific offender, and we are glad he is in custody,” said Roskamp.

The victim remains in hospital with life threatening injuries.

Late Wednesday afternoon, police told CTV News that while processing the scene, they found a deceased dog.

Brown will make a court appearance on May 23.

This is the second shooting in the city in 2023. Investigators have still not laid any charges when an 18 year old was shot in his home on Palm Street in January.

St. Thomas police on scene of a shooting that happened May 16, 2023. (Brent Lale/CTV News London) Top Stories

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