A U.S. Air Force member fires a paintball gun during an exercise at Misawa Air Base, Japan, June 22, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Charges laid after paintball shooting at Alberta safe drug site

A suspect was arrested and a paintball gun seized at a home in Lethbridge

Charges have been laid after a staff member at a supervised drug consumption site in Lethbridge was cut and bruised when someone fired paintballs from a moving truck.

Police say the female employee and two male clients were outside the building in Lethbridge early Saturday when a pickup truck went by and multiple projectiles were fired at them.

The two males avoided being hit but the staff member was struck in the face, arm, leg and torso.

The truck returned within a few seconds and fired more paintballs at clients, forcing them to the ground where they sought cover behind vehicles.

Numerous tips helped police track down a suspect, who was arrested on Sunday at a Lethbridge home where officers also seized a paintball gun.

Jesse John James Bulman, a 29-year-old Lethbridge resident, remains in custody on three charges of assault with a weapon, plus one count each of possession of a weapon dangerous to the public and mischief to property.

The consumption site’s director of operations has said the shooting and a string of threats are likely to result in increased security.

Jill Manning said she believes the threats are coming from a fringe element and don’t reflect the majority of people in Lethbridge, including those who oppose the facility.

There were protest rallies outside a city council meeting Aug. 19 at which councillors voted down a motion calling for the Alberta government to pull its funding for the consumption site.

People who crammed the council chamber’s public gallery were scanned for weapons on their way in after the city manager said there were threats on social media.

The meeting came the same day the province’s United Conservative government announced a panel to examine the social and economic effects of safe consumption sites.

The Canadian Press

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