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Charges laid in connection to daytime shooting in downtown New Westminster: police

A 55-year-old man with an extensive criminal history has been charged in connection to a daytime shooting in downtown New Westminster that police believe was targeted.

James Christopher Cheeseman was arrested on April 25, one week after police say he “essentially opened fire” on a group of people on Alexander Street, sending one man to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Police haven’t said whether Cheeseman was one of two suspects they arrested near the Royal Columbian Hospital—about a 45-minute walk from the scene of the lunch-hour shooting on April 18.

According to an earlier statement by the New Westminster Police Department, those two suspects were later released.

Charges against Cheeseman were approved on May 30, according to a NWPD release issued the following day.

He’s facing one count each of possession of a loaded prohibited or restricted firearm; pointing a firearm; and possession of a firearm knowing that the serial number on it had been altered, defaced or removed.

“The Major Crime Unit worked diligently to collect evidence and work with Crown Counsel to obtain charge approval,” Staff Sgt. Jeff Scott of NWPD said in Thursday’s statement.

The release explains that numerous specialty units helped collect evidence, interview witnesses and canvass for CCTV footage.

“Our Victim Assistance Unit is working with people who were in the area to ensure they have ongoing support and services as this matter progresses through the court process,” Scott said.

Investigators believe this shooting was targeted, but aren’t connecting it to the ongoing B.C. gang conflict.

Online court documents show Cheeseman’s criminal history dates back to 2001 and spans multiple jurisdictions across the Lower Mainland. Top Stories

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