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Police release video of Amelia Street shootout

Thunder Bay police investigator says the incident is of grave concern, noting that the incident could have resulted in a tragic outcome

THUNDER BAY — Police are seeking three suspects after they were involved in an exchange of gunfire in the parking lot of a multi-unit residential building on Tuesday.

The Thunder Bay Police Service, which had earlier announced that one of the four individuals believed to be involved in the incident had been arrested, publicly released surveillance footage on Wednesday showing the shootout at Spence Court on Amelia Street West.

Thunder Bay Police Service Det.-Insp. Jeremy Pearson said the incident was a potential tragedy.

“We look at this and see a wanton disregard for the safety of the public, for the safety of the community, and that should be of grave concern,” Pearson said.

“If you look at the manner in which those firearms are being discharged, the shots are haphazard, and I think that’s being generous. This is of significant concern, not only for police, but the community.”

The video shows a group of three leaving the building, while a fourth person emerges a few seconds later and opens fire. The three quickly hurry behind the cover of parked vehicles, with two returning fire.

Pearson described the gunfire as a “significant number of rounds,” and generalized it as more than 20.

The incident is believed to be connected to the illicit drug trade, rather than being a random act of violence, Pearson added.

“This is not a chance interaction between people who are unknown to each other that occurs for no apparent reason,” he said. “There was a deliberate interaction that led to this exchange.”

Pearson said the knowledge that the suspects possess handguns, and have demonstrated a willingness to use them, is something officers and the public must keep in mind.

“It certainly heightens the risk involved for the officers that are seeking the individuals,” he said. 

“One of the reasons we felt it was important to provide this video to the public is for an accurate representation of what occurred, so the public understands what our officers encountered and so they understand what had occurred in their community.

Pearson said police don’t have confirmation that anybody involved in the incident was injured, but noted that there are still three suspects outstanding and that it is a concern that they could have been injured and require medical attention.

Investigators have obtained video in the area, but have asked that anyone with surveillance or dash cam footage contact police.

About the Author: Matt Vis

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