Man Arrested for Barrie Car Bombing Incident Last Fall: Suspect Identified and Charged

Barrie, Ontario – A 36-year-old man has been taken into custody by the Barrie Police Service for his alleged involvement in a car bombing that occurred in Barrie last fall. The arrest was made by detectives from the Street Crime Unit on Monday in Ajax, Ontario.

The incident took place on September 27, 2023, when multiple witnesses reported a loud explosion in the parking lot of 108A Anne Street in Barrie. According to Barrie Police, a car parked in the outdoor lot was the target of the attack that happened shortly before 3 a.m.

In a statement provided by the Barrie Police Services Corporate Communications Coordinator, Peter Leon, it was revealed that an explosive device had been placed on the vehicle, but only a portion of it detonated. The Explosive Disposal Unit carried out a controlled detonation of the remaining device found near the scene.

Despite the explosion being limited to the parking lot, nearby residents were evacuated for safety precautions. The police also cleared the adjacent apartment building and surrounding areas.

Following an extensive eight-month investigation, the suspect, William Ivan Downey, has been charged with causing an explosion, intent to destroy, arson damage to property, possession of explosives, and several other offenses. Downey is currently detained and awaiting a court appearance at the Ontario Court of Justice.

The Barrie Police Service Major Crime Unit, which spearheaded the investigation, expressed gratitude to the community for their assistance that led to Downey’s apprehension. It is important to note that the charges against the suspect have yet to be proven in court.

Citizens in Barrie are relieved by the arrest and hopeful for a resolution to the case that shook the community last year. The authorities continue to investigate the incident to ensure justice is served, reassuring the public of their commitment to safety and security.