Two men booked for attempted murder

RNC link suspects to pair of St. John’s shootings from last fall

Published on August 1, 2014

Two men will face charges of attempted murder and assault with a weapon in connection to a pair of shooting incidents that happened last fall in
St. John’s.

The suspects, ages 31 and 35, were located in a vehicle in the Howley Estates area of St. John’s and arrested by police at midday Friday. Their names have not been released. It’s expected they will appear in court Saturday.

The arrests relate to a pair of shooting incidents from last fall. A 21-year-old man was shot on Sept. 9, 2013, at a house on Boyle Street in the west end of St. John’s. He was treated at a hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

Two months later on Nov. 11, a 30-year-old man was shot on Williams Heights in the St. John’s neighbourhood of Kilbride.

Insp. Barry Constantine of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary said the arrests were the result of an

11-month investigation by police. Despite the arrests, that investigation remains active.

“The motivation behind the crime would be subject to further investigation, which I’m not allowed to release at this point,” said Constantine. “But in terms of the fact charges of attempted murder were laid, well, when a person is shot, I think it’s probably safe to assume it’s quite possible that a person could be killed.”

Police were not forthcoming on details related to the investigation. Constantine would not rule out the possibility of further arrests and could not confirm whether the suspects were previously known to police prior to the investigation. He did confirm the attacks were not random.

At the time of the incidents, there were neighbours who suggested the properties where the crimes took place were homes where people would frequently come and go. Constantine declined to suggest whether drugs or gang-related activity were linked to either of the shootings.

Chief Bill Janes took a moment during a news conference announcing the arrests to point out St. John’s has a low gun-related crime rate compared to other Canadian jurisdiction.

A Statistics Canada report released in April of this year placed the St. John’s metro area last out of 27 census metropolitan areas for victims of police-reported violent crime involving a firearm in 2012. Its rate of 3.7 victims per population of 100,000 was well below the Canadian average of 21.

Janes said people should feel safe living in St. John’s.

“The statistics show that St. John’s has one of the lowest gun crime rates for a metropolitan area in Canada, and certainly I think that’s reflective of us having a very safe community — a good place for you to live and raise your family.”