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Pair charged with attempted murder in downtown Halifax shooting


Two Dartmouth men have been charged in connection with a shooting in the Spring Garden Road area of downtown Halifax early Friday.

Devonte Denzel McNeil, 26, and Demarqus Shane Beals, 30, are both accused of committing attempted murder.

The victim of the shooting is identified in court documents as Robert Chan.

Police allege McNeil was the actual shooter. He faces eight other gun-related charges, including discharging a firearm and pointing a firearm.

Beals has an additional charge of being an accessory after the act to an indictable offence.

The men were arraigned in Halifax provincial court Monday.

Prosecutor Ron Lacey informed the court the Crown was opposed to the men’s release and asked for time to prepare for a bail hearing.

Defence lawyers Ian Hutchison, who represents McNeil, and Tom Singleton requested that a bail hearing be scheduled for Aug. 19.

Judge Gregory Lenehan remanded the pair until that date and ordered them to have no contact with Chan.

Halifax Regional Police responded to a report of gunshots in the area of Spring Garden Road and Dresden Row on Friday at about 12:35 a.m.

Officers located Beals and McNeil a few minutes later on the grounds of nearby Royal Artillery Park on Queen Street.

Spring Garden Road and adjacent streets were closed during the investigation, which also involved a K-9 unit and forensic identification team. The police dog found a handgun inside Royal Artillery Park.

At 1:20 a.m., police were advised that a 27-year-old man had shown up at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound.

McNeil and Beals were initially charged Saturday with a single count of attempted murder involving a restricted or prohibited firearm, but new charges were laid before they appeared in court Monday.

In August 2014, Beals was charged with second-degree murder in the December 2011 stabbing death of Keya Simon, 19, during a party at her sister’s apartment on Pinecrest Drive in Dartmouth.

Beals was supposed to stand trial in May 2017, but the Crown announced it was staying the charge because a key witness had changed his story.

Beals has 20 convictions on his criminal record, including a dozen for breaching release conditions. His other convictions include assaulting police, resisting arrest and possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking.

McNeil has been convicted of drug possession and driving with a blood alcohol level above the legal limit of .08.

Later Monday, police announced a third suspect was in custody in connection with the shooting. On Tuesday, they said that person had been released without charges.

“Investigators do not believe this was a random act,” police said in a news release.

Police are asking anyone with information about the incident to call them at 902-490-5020 or submit an anonymous tip to Nova Scotia Crime Stoppers.

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