A Lethbridge woman is facing attempted murder charges in relation to the hostage situation in the city’s downtown core. On July 14, a 54-year-old woman was held hostage and stabbed multiple times in the neck inside the Lethbridge Legal Guidance office on 5 Street South, according to Lethbridge Police Acting Staff Sergeant Bruce Hagel.
Courtney Louise Shaw, of Lethbridge faces charges of one count 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.
Hagel said four employees were inside the office when police responded to a report of an armed subject. The woman was armed with what police later determined to be an airsoft pistol, along with a knife. Hagel said the 40-year-old woman asked to speak to a specific lawyer when she entered. She asked to use the office’s washroom after being told the person was not available, Hagel said.
“After approximately 10 minutes, she exited and pointed a black handgun at two of the employees and threatened to kill them. One employee was able to grab her phone and hide it under the desk to call 911,” Hagel said.
The subject later pulled out a knife and tried to get employees to reach the lawyer on the phone. Police say she forced the 54-year-old victim into a separate office and closed the door. Hagel said the three others escaped the building. The victim was not a lawyer, according to Hagel. He said the subject was known to the office.
“Police negotiated with the subject for approximately one hour. At approximately 3 p.m., due to an imminent threat to the life of the hostage, members of the tactical team made entry to the building,” Hagel said. “The subject, who was holding a knife to herself, was taken into custody and officers then immediately began providing life saving measures to the victim, who sustained serious injuries after being stabbed in the neck multiple times.”
The employee underwent surgery and is in stable condition, according to police. The subject received medical attention for cuts to her hand.
Following a Judicial Interim Release Hearing, Shaw was remanded in custody. She is scheduled to appear in court on July 22.