Chase that ended with gunshot started at scene of unrelated investigation, police say

James Christian
James Christian(Jefferson County Correctional Facility)
Updated: Aug. 20, 2020 at 9:02 AM EDT
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Police were finishing up the search of an apartment in the Woolworth Building in downtown Watertown Wednesday evening when they spotted a man who was wanted on drug charges.

That set off a foot chase to the nearby Top of the Square plaza parking lot that ended with a handgun going off accidentally.

Members of the Metro-Jefferson Task Force say they saw 43 year old James Christian near the scene they had been investigating and tried to arrest him on drugs sales and possession charges contained in a sealed indictment.

As Christian allegedly fled, police say the saw him throw away a handgun they had spotted tucked into his waistband. The weapon fired accidentally.

Police say that’s when Christian complied with their orders and they took him into custody.

They say they recovered the weapon and no one was injured.

Christian was charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, two counts of fifth degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, and two counts of fifth degree criminal sale of a controlled substance.

He was being held in county jail awaiting arraignment in Jefferson County Court.

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