Attempted murder charge laid in Lethbridge hostage-taking

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Attempted murder charge laid in Lethbridge hostage-taking
Lethbridge police have released details about a hostage situation that unfolded in downtown Lethbridge on Thursday afternoon. Police say an employee of Lethbridge Legal Guidance was stabbed in the neck "multiple times." Eloise Therien has an update. – Jul 15, 2022

A 40-year-old Lethbridge woman is facing several serious charges including attempted murder after a 54-year-old woman was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries on July 14.

Police say the accused, Courtney Louise Shaw, entered the Lethbridge Legal Guidance building at approximate 1:30 p.m. armed with an airsoft handgun and a knife.

Four employees were present at the time.

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When Shaw asked to speak with a specific lawyer, and was told that lawyer was not available, police say she asked to use the washroom.

10 minutes later, Shaw allegedly exited the washroom, pointed the handgun at two of the employees, threatening to kill them.

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One employee managed to hide under a desk and call 911.

Click to play video: 'Woman injured during hostage situation in downtown Lethbridge'
Woman injured during hostage situation in downtown Lethbridge

Police allege Shaw produced a knife and forced the victim into an office, closing the door while the other three employees escaped.

After approximately one hour of negotiating with Shaw over the phone, police determined there was an imminent threat to the life of the hostage and the tactical team entered the building.

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Police said Shaw was found holding a knife to herself and was taken into custody.

Officials said the victim had been stabbed in the neck multiple times and was taken to hospital by EMS with life-threatening injuries.

The victim underwent surgery and has since been upgraded to stable condition.

Shaw faces a total of 16 charges: one count each of attempted murder, aggravated assault, taking a hostage, use of an imitation firearm while committing an offence, possession of a weapon dangerous to the public, four counts of unlawful confinement, four counts of uttering threats, and three counts of assault with a weapon.

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This isn’t the first time Shaw has faced legal charges.

In 2008, she was found not criminally responsible for arson after setting fire to her own home.

A report found she was suffering from a psychiatric disorder at the time.

Shaw remains in custody on her latest charges and is scheduled to appear in court on July 22.

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