Man accused of murder in Salmon Arm attempts suicide

A man who attempted suicide by shooting himself in the head with a nail gun at Herald Park Tuesday, April 12 is the same man accused of murdering his estranged spouse, Louise Phillips, the Observer has learned.

James Phillips

A man who attempted suicide by shooting himself in the head with a nail gun at Herald Park Tuesday, April 12 is the same man accused of murdering his estranged spouse, Louise Phillips.

Salmon Arm RCMP confirmed James Douglas Phillips, 55, was taken in extremely critical condition to Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. Information obtained by the Observer indicates Phillips survived surgery Tuesday night and as of Friday remained in the Intensive Care Unit.

Phillips was released from custody by a judge in Kamloops on Friday, April 1, after posting a $50,000 bond.

A publication ban prevents the Observer from releasing any details of what was discussed during the hearing or the judge’s reasons for granting bail.

Phillips was scheduled to make a court appearance in Salmon Arm yesterday, April 12; however, he did not attend court.

He had been charged with second-degree murder on March 4 after being released from Kelowna General Hospital for treatment of stab wounds and other undisclosed medical conditions. They were sustained Feb. 18, the night Louise Phillips was found dead in her Timms Road apartment by police. James Phillips was also found inside the residence.

Late Tuesday morning, several police officers were dispatched to the Sunnybrae area following reports of a man threatening to shoot himself.

Staff Sgt. Kevin Keane of the Salmon Arm RCMP says a group of hikers were the first to discover Phillips, already injured, on the grounds of the park. They immediately contacted police. It appeared Phillips had shot himself with a nail gun. An ambulance was dispatched to the scene, but on further evaluation, a medivac helicopter was brought to the scene to airlift Phillips to Kamloops for treatment.

Louise Phillips had been the office manager at the Observer from 2007 until her death.