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Charges upgraded after Lethbridge hostage-taking incident

Police say a female employee of Lethbridge Legal Guidance was taken to hospital in life-threatening condition on July 14, 2022 after a hostage situation unfolded at a downtown office. Eloise Therien, Global News

Lethbridge Police have amended charges in connection with a hostage-taking incident back in July.

In a news release sent out Wednesday morning, LPS said the airsoft handgun the suspect had was tested and police say it met the “definition of a firearm based on the velocity of its projectile.”

Due to the change, police have upgraded the charges surrounding an imitation weapon for Courtney Louise Shaw, 40, of Lethbridge to include pointing a firearm and assault with a weapon (firearm).

Click to play video: 'Woman injured during hostage situation in downtown Lethbridge' Woman injured during hostage situation in downtown Lethbridge
Woman injured during hostage situation in downtown Lethbridge – Jul 14, 2022

The charges stem from a hostage-taking incident in the afternoon of July 14 inside the Lethbridge Legal Guidance office.

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Police said four employees were working when a woman entered the building and asked to speak to a specific lawyer. When the suspect was told the lawyer she was asking for was not there, she asked to use the bathroom. About 10 minutes later the suspect pointed “a black handgun” at the employees and threatened to kill them.

Read more: Attempted murder charge laid in Lethbridge hostage-taking

One person was able to call 911 and as time passed, the suspect also brandished a knife to which she also threatened to kill the employees “if they attempted to leave and did not get the lawyer on the phone” according to police.

Three employees were able to escape but the suspect confined a 54-year-old woman in the office.

After about an hour of crisis negotiation, members of the LPS tactical team entered the building and found the suspect holding a knife to herself, along with the one confined employee suffering from being stabbed in the neck multiple times.

Shaw was arrested at the scene and the victim was rushed to hospital where she underwent surgery and continues to recover from the incident.

Shaw is scheduled to appear back in court on Sept. 1, 2022.

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Lethbridge hostage-taking survivor’s friends organize plasma drive in her honour – Aug 3, 2022

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