Brandon Phillips charged in Captain's Quarters hotel slaying

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary has arrested a man suspected to have shot a hotel patron who tried to stop an armed robbery, ending a week-long manhunt in St. John's.

Police surrounded house on Quidi Vidi Road before arresting Brandon Phillips, 27, at 9 p.m.

Brandon Phillips, 27, is accused of shooting Larry Wellman on Saturday, Oct. 3 as well as robbing the Captain's Quarters Hotel. (CBC)

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary has arrested a man suspected to have shot a hotel patron who tried to stop an armed robbery, ending a week-long manhunt in St. John's.

Brandon Phillips, 27, appeared in court Sunday charged with first-degree murder in the Oct. 3 shooting of Larry Wellman at the Captain's Quarters Hotel, as well as being charged with armed robbery.

After police executed a search warrant at a home on Quidi Vidi Road at 6 p.m. Saturday, Phillips was finally taken into custody around 9 p.m.

Phillips congratulated his girlfriend's father, Dwight Ball, on securing the nomination for the Newfoundland and Labrador Liberal party in the fall of 2013. (Facebook)

The story of Phillips, who was taken into custody without incident on Saturday evening, has taken on an unusual twist, as he had — according to his own Facebook page — dated the daughter of Newfoundland and Labrador Liberal Leader Dwight Ball.

In a brief written statement, Ball said he could not comment in the middle of the RNC investigation.

"I would like to express sincere condolences to the family of Larry Wellman for their tragic loss," he wrote.

"Because this matter is under active investigation and before the courts, it would be inappropriate for me to comment any further."

Brandon Phillips is led into court at noon Sunday to face charges related to the armed robbery. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

CBC News has also learned that Phillips is the son of convicted murderer Eric James Squires. Squires was sent to prison in 1998 for the first-degree murder of Nina Walsh.

Phillips was arrested without incident after police executed a search warrant Saturday evening.  He appeared in court around noon Sunday. 

As well, police recovered a firearm during the investigation and said they now believe that any threat to public safety in relation to the shooting has now been eliminated.

RNC vehicles were parked in the area of Quidi Vidi Road overnight on Saturday and into Sunday, following a search of a home and subsequent arrest of a man believed to be connected to the shooting death of Larry Wellman last week. (CBC)

The RNC had originally planned to hold a media scrum following Phillips's court appearance. However it has now been postponed until Monday or possibly even Tuesday, officers told CBC.

Phillips is alleged to have been involved with the shooting death of Larry Wellman on Oct. 3, during an armed robbery at the Captain's Quarters Hotel on Kings Bridge Road in St. John's.

Larry Wellman, seen in 2006. (Submitted by Wellman family)

Wellman, originally from Corner Brook, attempted to intervene during the robbery before being shot, according to police.

The incident led to a week-long manhunt in the Quidi Vidi area of St. John's, and police had been asking the public to avoid the area and for residents to search their property for "suspicious items."

The area remained taped off and police were still on the scene through Sunday.


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