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Charges laid in Fenwick cop shootings

By The Tribune

In this file photo, a Niagara Regional Police officer is loaded into an ambulance after being shot at a Fenwick apartment building on October 10, 2015. The alleged shooter, Corey Richardson, 29, of Port Colborne, was charged Thursday by police. (Greg Furminger/Postmedia file photo)

In this file photo, a Niagara Regional Police officer is loaded into an ambulance after being shot at a Fenwick apartment building on October 10, 2015. The alleged shooter, Corey Richardson, 29, of Port Colborne, was charged Thursday by police. (Greg Furminger/Postmedia file photo)

A Port Colborne man who allegedly shot at and struck two Niagara Regional Police officers during the 2015 Thanksgiving weekend has been arrested by detectives from the homicide unit.

Corey Richardson, 29, was charged Thursday with two counts of attempted murder using a firearm and single counts of pointing a firearm, possession of a prohibited weapon, careless storage of firearm, careless storage of restricted weapon, and possession of prohibited devices.

The charges stem from an incident on Oct. 10, 2015, when officers from the Welland detachment responded to 704 Canboro Rd. in Fenwick for reports of a despondent man.

Officers arrived at Canboro Gardens Apartments and encountered Richardson in the hallway of the multi-unit Pelham building. Richardson quickly barricaded himself in his apartment.

In a release issued Thursday, police said at the time, officers began to evacuate other apartments as it was feared Richardson had a gun.

While the officers negotiated with him, Richardson came out of his apartment and allegedly fired multiple shots from a gun striking two officers, constables Neal Ridley, an eight-year member of the force, and Jake Braun, a five-year member.

Other officers, fearing for the lives of their colleagues, returned fire, striking and incapacitating Richardson.

Richardson was then transported to a local hospital in critical condition. 

The two officers were treated at hospital and released to recover at home the next day.

One officer shot in the shoulder was struck in two other places, the other was shot in the foot.

Neighbours the day after the shooting told The Tribune Richardson, who they then identified as 29 years old, was a known gun collector who had recently broken up with a girlfriend.

At the time of the shooting, Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit invoked its mandate to conduct an investigation. The SIU concluded its investigation on July 18, 2016, clearing police officers of any wrongdoing

Richardson, who continues to undergo medical care said police, participated in a video bail hearing Thursday.

dajohnson@postmedia.com