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Shooting suspect held after standoff

Amherst police took a Niagara Falls shooting suspect into custody Tuesday afternoon after a 50-minute standoff at a Niagara Falls Boulevard motel.

Police said they received a tip at 12:26 p.m. that Jacob Taggert, 23, was staying at the Boulevard Inn, formerly the University Manor Hotel, 785 Niagara Falls Blvd., said Amherst Police Capt. Michael Camilleri.

Taggert is one of three men associated with the April 23 shooting of Falls resident Anthony McDougall, said Niagara Falls Police Chief John Chella. McDougall was shot three times in the upper body after a verbal confrontation between two groups escalated into violence, he said.

"The arrest of Taggert completes the three we were looking for," Chella said.

When Amherst and Town of Tonawanda police arrived, Camilleri said, they learned Taggert was staying at the motel with a girlfriend. The woman eventually left the room and confirmed for police that Taggert was inside.

Police tried contacting him through the motel phone but were unsuccessful in reaching him, Camilleri said. They then called him out of the room verbally, and he surrendered without incident, he said.

Extra precautions were taken by police, who had guns drawn, because Taggert was considered armed and dangerous, Camilleri said.

He was taken into custody at 1:21 p.m. and returned to Niagara Falls for booking by city police. He is expected to be arraigned this morning.

Taggert, of Niagara Avenue, has been charged with first-degree assault and reckless endangerment, both felonies. Two other suspects associated with the shooting, Paul Buck and Marlyn Rubin, were taken into custody several days ago, Chella said.

The shooting victim, McDougall, was taken to Erie County Medical Center for treatment, said Chella, who added that McDougall's condition is improving and his injuries are not life-threatening.

The April 23 shooting occurred at the corner of 12th and Niagara streets in Niagara Falls after two groups got into an escalating argument, he said. The two groups did not appear to know each other, he said.