Local man charged with attempted murder after double shooting

Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS) provided an update on the double shooting that occurred in Crystal Beach earlier today.

Both victims, a man and a woman in their 40s, remain hospitalized outside the region. The woman is receiving treatment for serious injuries, while the man is in critical condition.

The investigation revealed a disturbing sequence of events. The shooting occurred during an altercation with the victims who were collecting aluminum recycling. The suspect is believed to be another collector.

Around 6:30 a.m., the male victim got into an argument with the suspect. The situation escalated when the suspect hit the man with a wooden bat, then drew a .25 calibre pistol and shot him multiple times.

The male victim attempted to escape towards the car driven by the female victim. The suspect approached the car and fired multiple shots into it, injuring the woman.

Following the shooting, the suspect fled the scene in a grey 2019 Dodge Caravan. He later returned on foot around 9 a.m. and surrendered to officers at the scene.

78-year-old William Symes of Fort Erie faces numerous charges, including attempted murder for both victims, discharging a firearm with intent to injure or endanger life, using a firearm during the commission of an offence, and various firearms-related violations.

Assault charges were also laid. Symes is held in custody for a video bail hearing scheduled for March 12 at the Robert S. K. Welch Courthouse in St. Catharines.

NRPS is appealing to the public for any information related to this incident by contacting the investigating officers or submitting an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers of Niagara.

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