Lethbridge Police have charged a 40-year-old woman with attempted murder in connection with an incident where a 54-year-old woman sustained life-threatening injuries after she was taken hostage at a law office.
On July 14 at approximately 1:30 p.m. police responded to a 911 call reporting an armed subject inside the Lethbridge Legal Guidance office along the 400 block of 5 Street South. Four employees were working when a 40-year-old woman entered the building and asked to speak to a specific lawyer. When she was advised the lawyer was not available, she asked to use the washroom. 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 under a desk to call 911.
As the situation progressed, the subject also produced a knife, continuing to threaten to kill the employees if they attempted to leave and did not get the lawyer on the phone. The subject proceeded to force a 54-year-old woman into an office and closed the door. The remaining three employees were able to escape.
Upon arrival, police cordoned off the area, evacuated nearby businesses and advised others to have employees shelter in place. The Critical Incident Team, including the Tactical Team and Crisis Negotiators, were deployed and established communication with the subject over the phone. Police negotiated with the subject for approximately one hour.
At 3 p.m. due to an imminent threat to the life of the hostage, members of the Tactical Team made entry to the building. The subject, who was holding a knife to herself, was taken into custody and officers immediately began providing life-saving measures to the victim, who had been stabbed multiple times in the neck.
EMS transported the victim to Chinook Regional Hospital where she was stabilized before undergoing surgery. At this time, she remains in hospital in stable condition. The subject was treated on scene and later received stitches for a laceration to her hand.
Police seized a knife and a black air soft handgun at the scene.
Courtney Louise Shaw, of Lethbridge, has been charged with 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.
Following a Judicial Interim Release Hearing Shaw was remanded in custody. She is scheduled to appear in court July 22, 2022.