Skip to content

Suspect charged in connection to downtown New Westminster shooting

New West man faces firearms charges after daytime shooting in April on Alexander Street
Charges laid: A New West man has been charged in connection to an April 18 shooting in the downtown. photo Shane MacKichan

A 55-year-old man faces several charges in connection to an April shooting in downtown New Westminster.

Around noon on April 18, New Westminster Police Department officers responded to a shooting on Alexander Street. The New Westminster Police Department reported that multiple shots were fired into a group of people, and a suspect fled the scene.

One man was wounded in the shooting. The victim, who is in his late teens, sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

In a news release, the New West police department states that two people were arrested near a local hospital that day and numerous police units assisted in collecting evidence, interviewing witnesses, and canvassing for CCTV footage.

According to the NWPD, the Lower Mainland Integrated Emergency Response Team made an arrest in the downtown neighbourhood on April 25. On May 30, charges were approved against a suspect in this shooting.

“The Major Crime Unit worked diligently to collect evidence and work with Crown counsel to obtain charge approval,” Staff-Sgt. Jeff Scott said in a news release. “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.”

While investigators believe this shooting was targeted, they say it doesn’t appear to be connected to the Lower Mainland gang conflict.

James Christopher Cheeseman, a 55-year-old New Westminster resident, has been charged with: possession a loaded prohibited or restricted firearm pointing a firearm; and possession a firearm knowing that the serial number on it had been altered defaced or removed.

Downtown concerns

Following the shooting, the Major Crime Unit asked people who live and work close to Alexander Street to contact them if they find physical evidence they believe is connected to this shooting or if they have CCTV footage of what occurred

“I have heard from residents that incidents like this cause people to feel like they can’t go downtown and can’t engage in the things they want and should be able to do,” NWPD Chief Const. Dave Jansen said in a news release issued after the shooting. “This incident is completely unacceptable in our community. In light of this and other recent events in the downtown core, I am working with my leadership team to develop an immediate plan of action.”

On May 2, the New Westminster Police Department announced it was launching a temporary redeployment plan to address safety in downtown New West. That action came after one shooting, two stabbings and several assaults with weapons in the downtown neighbourhood.

Supplementing the work being done by frontline patrol officers and the Community Engagement Unit, members from the NWPD’s Crime Reduction Unit, Road and Traffic Safety Unit, and Gang Suppression Unit were deployed to the downtown neighbourhood on bikes, on foot and in cars. Joint patrols with Metro Vancouver Transit Police were also part of the month-long initiative.

“During the redeployment, officers had an opportunity to strengthen relationships with downtown area business owners, staff and residents,” Jansen said in a statement to the Record. “In speaking with many of the people who spend time in the downtown, our increased presence was noticed and appreciated.”

The Record has reached out to the New Westminster Police Department for more information.