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Handgun linked to Saint John murder probe found

Handgun linked to Saint John murder probe found

CBC News
Saint John police have recovered a handgun they believe may have been used in a murder in the city's south end on Saturday.

Police confirmed a handgun was found Wednesday evening after a search near the Courtney Bay causeway, not far from Pitt Street, where Michael Thomas Schimpf, 31, was gunned down Saturday at about 8 p.m.

The police will send the handgun for forensic testing and it will be traced to determine its origin and whether it has been used in any outstanding criminal offences.

Matthew Thomas Foley, 50, the president of the local Bacchus Motorcycle Club, has been charged with second-degree murder in Schimpf's death.

Foley has been remanded in custody and will return to court on Aug. 15 to set a date for a preliminary inquiry.

Bill Reid, the chief of the Saint John Police, has said he does not believe the murder is related to organized crime.

The police search along the rocky shore was aided by about a dozen members of the River Valley Ground Search and Rescue as well as the York Sunbury Search and Rescue from Fredericton.

"They are called in to assist us with meticulous searches," Const. Kevin Copeland, of the major crime unit, told CBC News.

"We were searching for a weapon, which we did recover, thanks to their efforts," he said. "We would never had recovered it without their help."

The investigation is "proceeding very well," Copeland said.

Police have said several rounds were fired from a handgun and that the victim and suspect knew each other.

Meanwhile, members of the Bacchus Motorcycle Club were moving out of their headquarters at 58 Pitt St., on Thursday morning after an order from the Saint John Fire Department.

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