Welland man, two minors charged after collision and gunplay aimed at bicyclists

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Published May 29, 2023 at 4:48 pm

What seemed like a normal collision in Welland on May 26 took a darker turn when police found out that the occupants of one car were actually firing shots at two BMX riders just prior to the crash.

Police responded to the collision call at 8:35 pm, discovering that a car had been driving “erractically” according to witnesses just prior to colliding just a larger SUV.

After the collision, two youths from the car took off on foot but were soon found and arrested at a home on Crowland Ave. near York St. in Welland.

However, at this point, another witness came forward, telling the police that the two youths in the car were shooting at and trying to run over two separate youths riding BMX bicycles prior to the collision.

The BMX riders haven’t been identified and police are asking them to report so further details in the investigation can be discovered.

Once the police heard about the firearms, they searched the Crowland Avenue house, finding a 12-gauge double barrel shotgun and a single shot .22 caliber “credit card sized” firearm.

A third suspect in the house was also arrested and when the car was searched, police then found two pellet guns, pellets, and dog repellent.

Harry James Robert Higson, 35, of Welland, was charged with two counts of careless storage of a firearm or weapon, unauthorized possession of a non-restricted firearm, as well as unauthorized possession of a prohibited firearm

The 17-year-old male from Welland has been charged with two counts of careless storage of a firearm or weapon, careless use of a firearm, unauthorized possession of a non-restricted firearm, unauthorized possession of a prohibited firearm, dangerous driving, failing to stop at the scene of an accident, two count of assault with a weapon, possession of a weapon and pointing a firearm.

The 16-year-old male from Welland has been charged with careless use of a firearm, possession of a weapon and pointing a firearm.

The Youth Criminal Justice Act prohibits the Niagara Regional Police Service from identifying the two teens.

Higson was released on an undertaking and has a date at the Welland Courthouse on August 11.

Both the 17-year-old and 16-year-old males were remanded into the custody of Ontario Correctional Services at a bail hearing on May 27 via video link to the courthouse in Hamilton.

Area residents and businesses are encouraged to review their CCTV footage for imagery that may assist in this investigation.  Anyone with information is asked to contact the lead detective by dialing 905-688-4111, option 3, extension 1009318.

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